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Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies 79 

The Panarion of 
Epiphanius of 
Salamis, Books II 
and III. De Fide 

Second , revised edition 

Translated by 

Frank Williams 


The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis 
Books II and III. De Fide 

Nag Hammadi and 
Manichaean Studies 


Johannes van Oort & Einar Thomassen 

Editorial Board 

J.D. BeDuhn, A.D. DeConick, W.-P. Funk 
I. Gardner, S.N.C. Lieu, A. Maqanen 
P. Nagel, L. Painchaud, B.A. Pearson 
N.A. Pedersen, S.G. Richter, J.M. Robinson 
M. Scopello, J.D. Turner, G. Wurst 


The titles published in this series are listed at 

The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis 
Books II and III. De Fide 

Second, revised edition 

Translated, by 

Frank Williams 

y' _ S 

‘ / 6 8 * ‘ 



Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

Epiphanius, Saint, Bishop of Constantia in Cyprus, approximately 310-403. 

[De fide. English] 

The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis. Books II and III, De fide / translated by 
Frank Williams. — Second, revised edition. 

pages cm. — (Nag Hammadi and Manichaean studies ; volume 79) 

Includes index. 

ISBN 978-90-04-22841-2 (hardback : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-90-04-23312-6 (e-book) 

1. Christian heresies — Early works to 1800. 2. Apologetics — Early works to 1800. I. Title. 

BR65.E653P36513 2012 
273'-4 — dc23 


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(Most sections of the work are titled as in the manuscripts. Modern titles are indicated 
with an asterisk.) 

Acknowledgments vii 

Translator’s Introduction ix 

Abbreviations xiii 

Works Cited xvii 

*Anacephalaeosis IV 1 

47. Against Encratites 3 

48. Against those who are called Phrygians or Montanists 6 

49. Against Quintillianists or Pepuzians 22 

50. Against Quartodecimans 24 

51. Against the sect which does not accept the Gospel according 

to John, or his Revelation 26 

52. Against Adamians 68 

53. Against Sampsaeans 7 1 

54. Against Theodotians 73 

55. Against Melchizidekians 78 

56. Against Bardesianists 88 

57. Against Noetians 91 

58. Against Valesians 100 

59. Against the impure “Purists” (Cathari) 104 

60. Against Angelics 115 

61. Against Apostolics 116 

62. Against Sabellians 123 

63. Against the first type of Origenist, who are shameful 

as well 130 

64. Against Origen, also called Adamantius 134 



*Anacephalaeosis V 215 

65. Against Paul the Samosatian 216 

66. Against Manichaeans 226 

67. Against Hieracites 316 

68. Against the schism of Melitius the Egyptian 324 

69. Against the Arian Nuts 333 

*Anacephalaeosis VI 411 

70. On the schism of the Audians 412 

71. Against Photinians 428 

72. Against Marcellians 433 

73. Against Semi-Arians 443 

74. Against Pneumatomachi 483 

75. Against Aerius 504 

76. Against Anomoeans 511 

*Anacephalaeosis VII 581 

77. Against Dimoerites, called Apollinarians by some 582 

78. Against Antidicomarians 616 

79. Against Collyridians 637 

80. Against Massalians 646 

*De Fide 655 




I need to thank my daughter Marge, who scanned the book from which 
I worked; Mattie Kuiper, Tessel Jonquiere, Wilma de Weert and Rizalyn 
Rafael of Brill for their patience and help; Dr. Hans van Oort for his valuable 
suggestions; my indexer Dan Connolly and especially my wife Charlotte, 
for her considerable technical help and for the constant encouragement 
which is much needed in a work of this sort 


Here, in response to numerous requests, is our revised version of Books 
II and III of the Panarion along with De Fide, Epiphanius’ summary of the 
catholic faith as he understood it. 

A great deal need not be said by way of introduction. The text from 
which this is made is again Holl’s, with notes completed after his death 
by his grateful pupil Hans Lietzmann. We have used Dummer’s reedition, 
which includes various suggestions for the improvement of Holl’s text. For 
Epiphanius’ life and work and our defense of him, the reader is referred to 
the introduction to our Book I, the second edition, Brill, 2007. The style of 
Books II and III is perhaps marginally better than that of Book I; Epipha- 
nius quotes a number of better educated authors, some of his own writing 
is formal, and he is discussing contemporary controversies with which he 
was involved. However, the same criticisms which apply to the rest of the 
Panarion, apply here. 

The content is of particular interest to the patrologist, church historian, 
theologian, student of Gnosticism or Manichaeism, and the Christian with 
theological interests, because it represents the Christian fourth century 
as described by an active participant. Politically the church was trium- 
phant and exercised considerable control over the lives of its people. The 
monastic movement was new, on the rise and very important. Internally, 
however, the church seethed with controversy, deathly serious, with all 
parties convinced that the right answer was available in an infallible, self- 
interpreting scripture, and that one’s eternal salvation depended upon 
understanding it. 

Because Epiphanius was on the winning side we have the Panarion 
entire. Its comprehensiveness undoubtedly made it an important weapon 
for the group which gained control of the church. 

As the years between 325 and 381 were crucial to the Arian problem 
which the Council of Nicaea had failed to settle, this is given significant 
space in the Panarion’s Books II and III. Five long Sects — or eight if 
we count the brief notices of Theodotianists, Sabellians and Noetians — 
deal with some aspect of it, a total of 122 pages out of 682. Three Sects 
deal with the date of Easter — again, this was dealt with at Nicaea 1 but the 

1 See Eusebius’ fragmentary De Pascha, PG 24, 643ft., translated in Strobel pp. 24-25. 



compromise it reached may not have been fully adopted when Epipha- 
nius wrote. Other topics prominent in the Panarion are the divinity and 
personality of the Holy Spirit, celibacy, Mary’s perpetual virginity and the 
resurrection of the body. All these were hot issues in Epiphanius’ time and 
account roughly for four fifths of Books II and III. 

The longest Sect is Epiphanius’ attack on the Manichaeans, in his day 
active and a serious competitor of the church. Its length, however, is due 
in part to his fictitious biography of Mani, in part to his paraphrase of 
and partial quotation from the Acta Archelal disputationis cum Manete 

The quotation of other works is an important feature of the Panarion. 
There were several in Book I; in Books II and III there are no less than 
fourteen, many not available elsewhere. In addition there are two self- 
quotations: a long passage from the Ancoratus and Epiphanius’ Letter to 
Arabia about Mary. 

As to his refutations of the various sects, Epiphanius takes these where 
he finds them. Sometimes we know the source: his reply to Noetus comes 
from Hippolytus, his strictures against the Phrygians from one of several 
possible sources. His own are not bad. His voice is most recognizable, 
either in arguments drawn from simple commonsense — as when he asks 
how Mani’s archons can lock the soul in the prison of the body after eat- 
ing it — or in his dealings with scripture. These latter can be impressive. 
His answers to Arius’ arguments — barring a few forced explanations — are 
quite effective. Even his refutation of Aetius’ Treatise on the Ingenerate 
and Generate, though it makes no real attempt to take issue with the dia- 
lectic, is a reasonable Christian response. 

Also of interest is the picture Epiphanius incidentally gives of the first 
century church. It is interesting and important to know how Holy Week 
was kept, how a monk dressed, the not entirely successful attempts to 
enforce clerical celibacy, the severe regulations concerning fasting. Only 
Epiphanius explains why a priest should wear a beard, or gives the names, 
not of all but of several of the parish churches in Alexandria. To him also 
we owe descriptions of some of the pagan celebrations he abhorred. 

While, read through, the Panarion is monotonous and repetitious, some 
passages show real imagination. Thus, at the conclusion of his condem- 
nation of the Cathari, Epiphanius, not unsympathetically, portrays the 
position of the sectarian: “It is < as though > one found a break in a wall 
beside a highway, thought of going through it, left the road and turned off 
< there >, in the belief that a place where he could turn and pick up the 
road again was right close by. But he did not know that the wall was very 



high and ran on for a long way; (3) he kept running into it and not find- 
ing a place to get out, and in fact went for more than a signpost, or mile, 
further without reaching the road. And so he would turn and keep going, 
tiring himself out and finding no way to get back to his route; and perhaps 
he could never find one unless he went back to the place where he had 
come in (44,12,2-3).” Epiphanius would have been an effective preacher. 

This revision has been concerned chiefly with the translation and index. 
The translation has been carefully reviewed, its errors corrected, and it has 
been tightened in the sense of being made more literal — not, we hope, at 
the expense of readability. The notes have been enlarged, by adding a few 
more lemmata, but chiefly by increasing the number of entries. As to the 
notes themselves, these have only been minimally changed. Errors have 
been corrected, a few more recent editions have been used, and the bib- 
liography slightly updated. However considerations of time preclude any 
thorough revision of the notes. 

Although great care has been taken, there will still be errors; the trans- 
lator apologizes for them. Experience has proved this translation helpful 
to many. We hope it will continue to be so in the future. 

Frank Williams 
Las Cruces, New Mexico 
October 10, 2011 


Act. Arch. 

Act. Perpet. 


Alex. Lycop. 



Apol. Ep. Dion. 


Asc. Isa. 


Ap. De Fuga 
Ap. Sec. 

C. Apol. 

De Sent. Dion 
Dial. II Trin. 

Ep. Ad Serap 

Or. I C. Ar. 

Or. II C. Ar. 

Or. Ill C. Ar. 




C. Fel. 

C. Fort. 

Mor. Man. 

Serm. Dom. Mont. 
Ut. Cred. 

Athen, Leg. 

Bas. Caes. 



Comment in Isa. 
De Melch. 

Acta Arckelai cum Manete Disputantis 

Acta Perpetuae 


Alexander of Lycop olis 


Abhandlungen der KonigLicken Preussischen 
Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin 
Apollinaris Epistula ad Dionysium 
Ascension of Isaiah. 


Apologia de Fuga 
Apologia Secunda 
Contra Apollinarem 
De Sententiis Dionysii 
Dialogus Secundus De Trinitate 
Epistula ad Serapionem de Morte Arii 
De Decretis Nicaeae Synodis 
Oratio I contra Arianos 
Oratio II contra Arianos 
Oratio III contra Arianos 
De Synodis 

Contra Adimantum 
Contra Felicem 
Contra Fortunatum 
De Moribus . . . Manichaeorum 
De Sermone Domini in Monte 
De Utilitate Credendi 
Athenagoras Legatio 
Basil of Caesarea 

Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African 

Studies, London 


Commentaria in Isaiam 
De Melchizedek 



Horn. 6 In Heb. 

In Gen. Sermo 
Clem. Alex. 





Const. Ap. 

Consularia Constantia 
Cyr. Cat. 

Cyr. Alex 
Glaph. in Gen. 

Dial. Mont. Orth. 


Did. Trin. 



Ep. Barn. 


Dem. Ev. 

H. E. 

Praep. Ev. 

Vit. Const. 

Filast. Haer. 


Greg. Naz. 

Carm. Hist. I De Se Ipso 
C. Eunom. 

Herm. Mand. 


C. Noet. 


In Dan. 


Hist. Aceph. 

Hist. Laus. 


Iren. Haer. 

HomUia in Hebraeos 
In Genesim 

Clement of Alexandria 
Ex Theodoto 
Cologne Mani Codex 
Constitutiones Apostolorum 
Consularia Constantia 
Cyril of Jerusalem Catechetical Lectures 
Cyril of Alexandria 
Glaphyra in Genesim 
Dialogus Montanistae cum Orthodoxo 

Didymus De Trinitate 



Epistle of Barnabas 

Demonstratio Evangelica 
Historia Ecclesiastica 
Praeparatio Evangelica 
Vita Constantini 

Filastrius Contra Omnes Haereses 

Gregory Nazianzus 

Carmen Historica I de Se Ipso 
Contra Eunomium 
Hermas Mandata 

Contra Noetum 
Contra Omnes Haereses 
Commentaria in Danielem 
Historia Acephala 
Historia Lausiaca 

F. W. K. Muller, Handschriften-Reste in 
Estrangelo-Schrift aus Turfan, Anhang 
APAW, 1904 

Irenaeus Contra Omnes Haereses 



Adv. Jov. 

Com. In Isa. 
C. Rufin. 

In Tit. 

Vir. 111. 



C. Ap. 


Jul. Af. 


Lact. Div. Inst. 
Man. Horn. 
Man. Ps. 

Marc. Anc. Inc. 




Apoc. Adam 
Apoc. Jas. 
Apocry. John 
Gosp. Tr. 

Gr. Pow. 

Nat. Arch. 
Orig. Wld. 
Testim. Tr. 
Tri. Prot. 

Nic. H. E. 



Com. in Joh. 
Com. In Mat. 


Adversus Jovinianum 

Commentaria in Isaiam 
Contra Rufinum 
Commentaria in Titum 
De Vir is Illus tribus 

Antiquitates Judaicae 
Contra Apionem 
Book of Jubilees 
Julius Africanus 

Lactantius Divinae Institutiones 

Manichaean Homilies 

Manichaean Psalms 

Marcellus of Ancyra De Incarnatione 

Monumenta Historiae Germanica, Auctores 


F. C. Andres, W. Henning, Mitteliranische 
Manichaica aus Chinesisch-Turkestan, APAW 1932 , 
i933> 1934 

Nachrichten von der Gesellschajt der Wissenschajt zu 

Nag Hammadi Corpus 
Apocalypse of Adam 
Apocryphon of James 
Apocryphon of John 
Gospel of Truth 
Concept of Our Great Power 
Nature of the Archons 
Origin of the World 
Testimony of Truth 
Trimorphic Protennoia 
Nicephorus Historia Ecclesiastica 

Contra Celsum 
Commentaria in Johannem 
Commentaria in Matthaeum 
De Principiis 




Migne Patrologia Graeca 




Migne Patrologia Latina 


Pistis Sophia 



C. Apollin. 

Contra Apollinarem 


Contra Omnes Haereses 



Serap. Thm. 

Serapion of Thmuis 




Sozomen Historia Ecclesiastica 


Sitzungsberichte der Koniglichen Preussischen 
Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin 





Adv. Hermog. 

Adversus Hermogenem 

Adv. Marc. 

Adversus Marcionem 

Adv. Prax. 

Adversus Praxean 

Adv. Hermog. 

Adversus Hermogenem 

Adv. Jud. 

Adversus Judaeos 

Carn. Res. 

De Carnis Resurrectione 


De Jejunia 


De Monogamia 


De Pudicitia 

Virg. Vel. 

De Virginibus Velandis 

Theodoret Haer. Fab. 

Theodoret Haereticorum Fabulae 

Theophilus Ad. Autol. 

Theophilus Ad Autolycum 

Tit. Bost. Man. 

Titus of Bostra Adversus Manichaeos 


Transactions of the Philosophical Society, London 


Talmud Babli 


Pseudo-Ignatius Epistula ad Trallianos 

Vit. Epiph. 

Vita Epiphanii 


<> enclose a conjectural reading placed in the text by Holl 

<*> enclose a conjectural reading left in the apparatus by Holl 

enclose words supplied by the translator for clarity 
( ) enclose parenthetical material in Epiphanius 
(i. e.) enclose translator’s explanatory note 


Achelis, Hans and Flemming, Johannes, Die Syrische Didascalia iibersetzt und erklart, 
Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1904 

Allberry, C. R. C., A Manichaean Psalm Book, Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer Verlag, 1938 
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York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990 

Asmussen, Jes P., Manichaean Literature, Delmar, N.Y.: Scholars’ Facsimiles and Reprints, 

Brightman, Frank Edward, Liturgies Eastern and Western, Volume I, Eastern, Oxford: Clar- 
endon Press, 1965 

Charlesworth, James S., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday 
and Company, 1983 

Corssen, Peter, Monarc hianische Prologe zu den vier Evangelien, Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1896 
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Here likewise are the contents of this first Section of Volume Two; counted 
consecutively from the beginning of the sections it is Section Four. It con- 
tains eighteen Sects: 

47. Encratites, who are an offshoot of Tatian, reject marriage and say 
that it is of Satan, and forbid the eating of any sort of meat. 

48. Phrygians, also called Montanists and Tascodrugians. They accept 
the Old and the New Testaments but, by boasting of a Montanus and a 
Priscilla, introduce other prophets after the [canonical] prophets. 

49. (1) Pepuzians, also called Quintillianists, with whom Artotyrites are 
associated. They derive from the Phrygians but teach different doctrines. 
They venerate Pepuza, a deserted city somewhere in Galatia, Cappadocia 
and Phrygia, and regard this as Jerusalem. (There is another Pepuza as 
well.) And they allow women to rule and to act as priests. 

(2) Their initiation is the stabbing of a small child. And they tell the 
story that Christ was revealed in female form to Quintilla, or Priscilla, 
there in Pepuza. 

(3) They likewise use the Old and the New Testaments, revising them 
to suit their own taste. 

50. Quartodecimans, who celebrate the Passover on one day of the 
year, whichever day is the fourteenth of the month — whether on a Sab- 
bath or a Lord’s Day — and both fast and hold a vigil on that day. 

51. Alogi, or so I have named them, who reject the Gospel of John and 
the eternal divine Word in it who has (come down) from on high, from 
the Father, and so accept neither John’s Gospel itself, nor his Revelation. 

52. (r) Adamians, by some called Adamizers, whose doctrine is not true 
but ridiculous. (2) For they assemble stark naked, men and women alike, 
and conduct their readings, prayers and everything else in that condition. 
This is because they are supposedly single and continent and, since they 
regard their church as Paradise, do not allow marriage. 

53. Sampsaeans, also called Elkasaites, who live to this day in Arabia, 
the country lying north of the Dead Sea. They have been deceived by 
Elxai, a false prophet (2) whose descendants were Marthus and Marthana, 
two women who are still worshipped as goddesses by the sect. All their 
doctrines are quite like those of the Ebionites. 



54. Theodotians, who derive from Theodotus the shoemaker, of Byzan- 
tium. He excelled in the Greek education, but when he was arrested with 
others during the persecution in his time, only he fell away. Because he 
was reproached after the martyrdom of the others, to escape the charge 
of denying God he thought of the expedient of calling Christ a mere man, 
and taught in this vein. 

55. Melchizedekians, who honor Melchizedek and claim he is a power 
of some sort and not a mere man, and have dared to ascribe everything 
to his name and say as much. 

56. Bardesians. Bardesianes came from Mesopotamia. At first he was 
a follower of the true faith and excelled in wisdom, but after he swerved 
from the truth he taught like Valentinus, except for a few small points 
< in > which he differs from Valentinus. 

57. (1) Noetians. Noetus was from Smyrna in Asia. From conceit he 
taught, among other things, that Christ is the Son-Father, 1 < and said > 
that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are the same. (2) He also said 
that he was Moses; his brother, he said, was Aaron. 

58. (1) Valesians. They live, I believe, in the chief village of Philadelphia 
in Arabia, Bacathus; they make eunuchs of all who happen by and accept 
their hospitality. Most of them are castrated eunuchs themselves. (2) They 
teach certain other things which are full of heresy, reject < the teachings > 
of the Law and the Prophets, and introduce certain other obscenities. 

59. Purists (Cathari), who are connected with Navatus of Rome, entirely 
reject the twice-married, and do not accept repentance. 

60. Angelics. These have entirely died out. Either they boasted of 
angelic rank, or they 2 were called Angelics < because they worshipped* > 

61. Apostolics, also called Apotactics. These too < live > in Pisidia; they 
accept only persons who renounce the world, and they pray by them- 
selves. They are quite like the Encratites, but have opinions which are 
different from theirs. 

62. Sabellians, whose opinions are like the Noetians’ except that they 
deny that the Father has suffered. 

63. Origenists, the disciples of one Origen. They are obscene, have 
unspeakable practices, and devote their bodies to corruption. 

1 uiot77iaTV)p. 

2 Holl: irpoarovEiv <outup E7rex:Xr)0v)O'o:v>; MSS: 7rpoa7cexAv)a , 9ci[. 



64. Other Origenists, the disciples of the Origen who is called Adaman- 
tius the Author. They reject the resurrection of the dead, represent Christ 
and the Holy Spirit as creatures, allegorize Paradise, the heavens and all 
the rest, and foolishly say that Christ’s kingdom will come to an end. 

These, in turn, are the eighteen Sects of Volume Two, Section One. 

Against Encratites. 1 Number 47, but 67 of the series 

1,1 Certain persons whom we call Encratites are the successors of Tatian. 
They were led astray and deceived by Tatian in person, but have ideas dif- 
ferent from his and in their own turn have devoted themselves to worse 
foolishness. (2) Even today their numbers are increasing in Pisidia and 
the land called Scorched Phrygia. 2 (Perhaps the country has come to be 
called this by divine dispensation, for this very reason — its inhabitants 
have been scorched by the perversity of such error, and so much of it. For 
there are many sects in the area.) 

1.3 There are also Encratites in Asia, Isauria, Pamphylia, Cilicia and 
Galatia. And by now this sect < has > also < been planted > in Rome < to > 
an extent, and at Antioch in Syria as well — not everywhere, however. 

1.4 Encratites too say that there are certain sovereign authorities, 3 and 
that the < power > of the devil is ranged against God’s creatures 4 because 
the devil is not subject to God; he has power of his own and acts as in his 
own right, and not as though he had fallen into perversity. 5 For they do 
not agree with the church, but differ from its declaration of the truth. 

1.5 As scriptures they use principally the so-called Acts of Andrew, and 
of John, and of Thomas, and certain apocrypha, 6 and any sayings from the 
Old Testament that they care to. 

1 Epiphanius may have used Iren. Haer. 1.28.1, but dearly has contemporary knowl- 
edge of the Encratites. Other ancient discussions are found at Hippol. Haer. 8.7; Eus. H. E. 
4.28-30; Clem. Alex. Paedag. 2.2.33; Strom. 1.91.5; 3.76.25; 7.108.2. The apocryphal Acts of 
John, Andrew and Thomas afford many instances of the sort of teachings described here. 

2 Basil of Caesarea Ep. 188; 198; 236. 

3 cipyai. Typically Gnostic terms for such beings are found at Acts of John 94; 95; 98-99; 
Acts of Andrew 20; Acts of Thomas 27; 50; 121; 132; 133; 148. 

4 “Let rulers be broken, let powers fall” is said of Satan’s host at Acts of John 114. 

5 The apocryphal Acts represent the devil as a powerful, dangerous being at Acts of 
Andrew 27; Acts of Thomas 31; 32; 34; 44; 76. At Acts of Thomas 31 the devil says, “The Son 
of God hath wronged me against my will, and taken them that were his own from me.” 

6 The Nag Hammadi tractate, Thomas the Contender (NHC II, 7) contains a sharp 
polemic against sexual intercourse, but there is no evidence that the “Encratites,” as 
described here, used it. 



1.6 They declare that marriage is plainly the work of the devil 7 And 
they regard meat as an abomination — though they do not prohibit it for 
the sake of continence or as a pious practice, but from fear and for appear- 
ance’ sake, and in order not to be condemned for eating flesh. 8 

1.7 Encratites too celebrate mysteries with water. 9 They do not drink 
wine at all, 10 and claim that it is of the devil, and that those who drink and 
use it are malefactors and sinners. (8) And yet they believe in the resur- 
rection of the dead — which goes to show that, for people who have gone 
this far wrong, everything is crazy, (g) Indeed, a person with sense can see, 
and wonder, and find himself nonplussed about everything the heretics 
say and do, because none of their speech and behavior hangs together and 
admits of any appearance of truth. 

2,1 For if they use the Old and New Testaments, where are there any 
different authorities? The two Testaments are in agreement about one 
< authority > and proclaim the knowledge of < one Godhead >. (2) And if 
there is a resurrection of the dead too, how can lawful wedlock be of the 
devil? For God says, "Be fruitful and multiply;” * 11 and the Lord says, in the 
Gospel, “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” 12 And 
the apostle says, “Marriage is honorable, and the bed undefiled.” 13 

2,3 But when they are confronted with such arguments they malign 
Paul by calling him a drunkard. 14 And they seize on certain texts against 
wine drinkers which they go hunting for to suit their taste and support 
their fiction, and say that anything like wine is of the devil. “Noah drank 
wine,” they say, “and was stripped naked. (4) Lot got drunk, and unknow- 
ingly lay with his own daughters. The calf was made during a drinking 
bout. And the scripture says, ‘Who hath confusion? Who hath conten- 
tions? Who hath resentments and gossip? Who hath afflictions without 

7 Marriage is called “the work of the serpent” at Acts of Thomas 57. Condemnations of 
matrimony are found in the apocryphal Acts, e.g. at Acts of John 63; 113; Acts of Andrew 
28; 35; Acts of Thomas 12-16; 96-103; 131. Cf. Iren. Haer. 1.28.1; Hippol. Haer. 8.20.15; Clem. 
Alex. Strom. 1.71.5; 2.46.3. 

8 Iren Haer. 1.28.1; Hippol. Haer. 8.20.1; Basil of Caesarea Ep. 236,4. 

9 Acts of Thomas 121. Cyprian of Carthage Ep. 63 is a tract against the practice, which 
suggests that it sometimes occurred in catholic circles. 

10 Hippol. Haer. 8.20.10; Clem. Alex. Paedag. 2.32.1-3; Basil of Caesarea Ep. 236,4. 

11 Gen 1:28. 

12 Matt 19:6; Mark 10:9. 

13 Heb 13:4. 

14 In his Prologue to the Epistle to Titus, Jerome says that “Tatian, the patriarch of the 
Encratites” repudiated several of the Pauline Epistles. 



cause? Whose eyes are inflamed? Is it not they that tarry long at wine, that 
seek out the place where drinking is?’ ” 15 

2,5 And they track down other texts of this kind and make a collec- 
tion of them for the sake of their own credibility, without realizing that 
all immoderation is in every way grievous, and declared to be outside of 
the prescribed bounds. (6) For I would say this not merely of wine, but 
of every form of intemperance. The Lord was teaching this lesson when 
he said, “Let not your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and drunken- 
ness and cares of this life.” 16 So was the text, “If thou be given to appe- 
tite, be not desirous of a rich man’s meats, for these attend on a life of 
deceit.” 17 (7) And further, when the holy apostle was ridding the church of 
the intemperate and greedy he said, in anger at their gluttonous desires, 
“Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats; but God shall destroy both 
it and them.” 18 

2,8 Besides, Esau lost his birthright over a wheat mash — as the scrip- 
ture says, calling the same thing a “wheat mash” and a “lentil mash.” 19 
(I imagine it was not made of wheat — that is, not made of grain. I think 
the scripture was probably describing the leftover lentils — which had 
already been boiled, and which had been put back on the fire and heated 
up again — as “< boiled > on the fire,” because they had been heated up 
after cooling off. (g) And as Noah was stripped naked after using wine 
but without coming to any harm, so Esau came to the harm of losing 
his birthright, but from hunger and greed rather than from wine. And no 
falsely applied text is of any avail when set beside the truth, nor is any 
invention of dramatic fiction. 

3,1 They pride themselves on supposed continence, but all their con- 
duct is risky. For they are surrounded by women, deceive women in every 
way, travel and eat with women and are served by them. For they are 
outside of the truth, “having the form of godliness, but denying the power 
thereof.” 20 (2) For if a person neglects any part of a work such as this, 
through the one part which he neglects he has given up the whole of it. 
And so it is that their mysteries are celebrated only with water, and are 

15 Prov 23:29-30. 

16 Luke 21:34. 

17 Prov 23:3. 

18 1 Cor 6:13. 

19 Cf. LXX, confusing Gen 25:30 with 25:34. Epiphanius here takes mjpop, “wheat,” as the 
genitive of 7tup, “fire.” 

20 2 Tim 3:5. 



not mysteries but false mysteries, celebrated in imitation of the true ones. 
(3) ffence the Encratites will be defeated on this point too, by the plain 
words of the Savior, “I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, 
until I drink it new with you in the kingdom of God.” 21 

3,4 Disabling this sect in its turn with the mighty hand of the truth — 
like a stinging insect deprived of teeth — let us go on to the rest, calling 
on the God of all, as we always do, to be our guide and our defender 
against horrors, and to be the help of our judgment as he is the giver of 
our wisdom. May I thus learn the truth from him and be able to expose 
the < nonsense* > of the others and, by the speech of the truth, make the 
medicinal antidote for them from many fragrant herbs. May it be given 
ungrudgingly: for healing, to those who have already contracted [the dis- 
ease]; as a treatment, to whose who are coming down with it; as a preven- 
tative, to those who are about to learn something they did not know; and 
to myself, for God’s salvation and reward. 

Against those who are catted Phrygians or Montanists * 1 or, also, 
Tascodrugians. Number 28, but 48 of the series 

r,r Out of these in turn there emerges another sect, called the sect of the 
Phrygians. It originated at the same time as the Encratites, and is their suc- 
cessor. (2) For the Montanists had their beginning about the nineteenth 
year of Hadrian’s successor Antoninus Pius, 2 while Marcion, Tatian, and 
the Encratites who succeeded him had theirs in Hadrian’s time and after 

r,3 These Phrygians too, as we call them, accept every scripture of the 
Old and the New Testaments and likewise affirm the resurrection of the 
dead. But they boast of having one Montanus as a prophet, and Priscilla 
and Maximilla as prophetesses, and by paying heed to them have lost 
their wits. (4) They agree with the holy catholic church about the Father, 

21 Matt 26:29. 

1 An important source for this sect is a well informed and early catholic refutation; 
see Labriolle pp. L-LI. Other significant descriptions of the Montanists are found at Hipp. 
Haer. 8.19; ro.25-28; Eus. H. E. 504-19; Jer. Ep. 41; PsT 47; Filast. Haer. 49; Cyr. Cat. 16.18; 
Did. De Trin. 3.41, and the Montanist works of Tertullian. And see Labriolle’s entire collec- 
tion. Since Filast. 49 closely resembles Epiphanius while PsT is quite different from both, 
it is uncertain whether Epiphanius has made use of Hippol. Synt. here, or whether Filast. 
depends upon Epiphanius. 

2 I.e., 157 c. e. See Clem Alex. Strom. 3.106.4-5. 



the Son and the Holy Spirit, 3 but have separated themselves by “giving 
heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils” 4 and saying, “We must 
receive the gifts of grace as well.” 

1.5 God’s holy church also receives the gifts of grace — but the real gifts, 
which have already been tried in God’s holy church through the Holy 
Spirit, and by prophets and apostles, and the Lord himself. (6) For the 
apostle John says in his Epistle, “Try the spirits, whether they be of God;” 5 
and again, “Ye have heard that Antichrist cometh, and now many Anti- 
christs have come. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if 
they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but that it might 
be made known that they were not of us. For this cause write I unto you, 
little children,” 6 and so on. (7) The Phrygians are truly not “of” the saints 
themselves. They “went out” by their contentiousness, and “gave heed” to 
spirits of error and fictitious stories. 

2,1 For see here, by their thesis itself they are convicted of inability to 
keep their contentious promises. If we must receive gifts of grace, and 
if there must be gifts of grace in the church, why do they have no more 
prophets after Montanus, Priscilla and Maximilla? 7 Has grace stopped 
operating, then? Never fear, the grace in the holy church does not stop 
working! (2) But if the prophets prophesied up until a certain point, and 
no more < after that* >, then neither Priscilla nor Maximilla prophesied; 
< they delivered their prophecies after > the ones which were tried by the 
holy apostles, in the holy church. 

2,3 Their stupidity will be refuted in two ways, then. Either they should 
show that there are prophets after Maximilla, so that their so-called 
“grace” will not be inoperative. Or Maximilla and her like will be proved 
false prophets, since they dared to receive inspiration after the end of the 
prophetic gifts — not from the Holy Spirit but from devils’ imposture — 
and delude her audience. 

3 Dial. Mont. Orth. The Montanist Tertullian detests monarchianism (Adv. Prax. 1.1-3; 
5) and attributes his essentially catholic doctrine of the Trinity to the Paraclete (Adv. Prax. 
2.1; 8.5). Montanists are, however, accused of monarchianism in the Dial. Mont. Orth. (Lab- 
riolle pp. 92-98) and at Jer. Ep. 41.3; cf. Orig. Cels. 8.9; Hippol. Haer. 8.19.3. PsT 7.2 and Did. 
Trin. 3.41.1 distinguish between Montanists who are monarchian and those who are not. 

4 1 Tim 4:1. For the use of this text against Montanists cf. Hippol. In Dan. 3.20; Orig. 
Comm. In Matt 15.30. 

5 1 John 4:1. 

6 Cf. 1 John 2:18-19. 

7 So argued at Eus. H. E. 5.17.4 (anonymous anti-Montanist). 



2,4 And see how they can be refuted from the very things they say! 
Their so-called prophetess, Maximilla, says, “After me there will be no 
prophet more, but the consummation.” (5) See here, the Holy Spirit and 
the spirits of error are perfectly recognizable! Everything the prophets 
have said, they also said rationally and with understanding; and the things 
they said have come true and are still coming true. (6) But Maximilla said 
that the consummation would come after her, and no consummation 
has come yet — even after so many emperors, and such a lapse of time! 
(7) There have been about 206 8 years from Maximilla’s time until ours, 
the twelfth year of Valentinian and Valens and the < eighth > of Gratian, 9 
and we have yet to see the consummation which was announced by this 
woman who boasted of being a prophetess, but did not even know the 
day of her own death. 

2,8 And it is plain to see that none who have estranged themselves 
from the truth have retained any soundness of reason. Like babes bitten 
by the perennial deceiver, the serpent, they have surrendered themselves 
to destruction and to being caught outside the fold and dragged off to be 
the wolf’s meat < and > thus perish. This is because they did not hold on 
to the Head but deserted the truth and hazarded themselves in shipwreck, 
and in the surf of all sorts of error, (g) If Maximilla says there will never be 
another prophet, she is denying that they have the gift, and that it is still 
to be found among them. If their gift persists [only] until Maximilla, then, 
as I said before, she had no portion of the gifts either. 10 

3,1 For she has gone astray. The Lord has set his seal on the church, 
and perfected the gifts of grace < in > her. When prophets were needed 
the same saints, filled with the Holy Spirit, delivered all the prophecies for 
our benefit * 11 — [delivered them] in the true Spirit, with sound mind and 
rational intellect, in proportion to their < faith > in the gifts of grace the 
Spirit was giving to each, and “in proportion to the faith.” 12 (2) But what 
have these people said that was beneficial? What have they said that was 
in proportion to the faith? Indeed, how can they be any but the persons 
of whom the Lord said, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in 
sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves?” 13 

8 Holl: a^; MSS: Siaxoaia evsvr)>covTa. 

9 376 C. E. Epiph has been at work on the Panarion for about a year; cf. Proem 11.2. 

10 So argued at Eus. H. E. 5.17.4 (anonymous anti-Montanist). 

11 Cf. 1 Cor 12:7. 

12 Cf. Rom 12:6. 

13 Matt 7:15. 



3,3 By comparing what they have said with < the teachings > of the 
Old and New Testaments — which are true, and which have been delivered 
and prophesied in truth — let us determine which is < really > prophecy, 
and which false prophecy. (4) A prophet always spoke with composure and 
understanding, and delivered his oracles by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. 14 
He said everything with a sound mind like “Moses, the servant of God and 
faithful in all his house, who saw the glory of God < apparently, and not 
in dark speeches.” 15 And thus the man who saw* > was called a prophet 
in the Old Testament. (5) Scripture says, “The vision which Isaiah the son 
of Amoz, the prophet, saw: 16 / saw < the > Lord sitting upon a throne high 
and lifted up. And I saw Seraphim and Cherubim, and I heard the Lord 
saying unto me, Go and tell this people, Hear indeed and ye shall not 
understand; and see indeed, and ye shall not perceive.” 17 And after hear- 
ing this from the Lord he went to the people and said, “Thus saith the 
Lord.” (6) Can’t you see that this is the speech of a sober person who is 
not out of his senses, and that the words were not delivered as the speech 
of a mind distraught? 

3,7 Similarly, when the prophet Ezekiel heard the Lord say, “Bake 
thee bread on human dung,” 18 he said, “Not so, Lord; nothing common 
or unclean hath at any time come into my mouth.” 19 (8) Understanding 
that which had been threateningly said to him by the Lord, he did not go 
ahead and do [it] as though he were out of his senses. Since his mind was 
sound and rational he prayed and said, “Not so, Lord.” These — both the 
teaching and the discussion — are marks of < the > true prophets, whose 
minds are sound in the Holy Spirit. 

3,9 And who can deny that Daniel was filled with all wisdom and in 
possession of his senses? He found the answers to Nebuchadnezzar’s 
riddles, (ro) recalled Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams when they had eluded 
even the dreamer, and with his soundness of mind and the superiority 
of his gift, gave the explanation at once. For he had wisdom greater than 
everyone’s by the gift of the Holy Spirit, who truly gives wisdom — to the 

14 Eus. H. E. 5.17.2-3 (anonymous anti-Montanist): But the false prophet prophesies in 
ecstasy . . . They cannot show that any of the truly inspired prophets in the Old or the New 
Testament was of this sort. . . 

15 Num 12:7-8. 

16 Isa 1:1. 

17 Cf. Isa 6:1-3; 9. 

18 Ezek 4:12. 

19 Ezek 4:14. 



prophet and to those who, through the prophet, are vouchsafed the teach- 
ing of the truth. 

3,11 But when the Phrygians profess to prophesy, it is plain that they 
are not sound of mind and rational. Their words are ambiguous and odd, 
with nothing right about them. (4,1) Montanus, for instance, says, "Lo, the 
man is as a lyre, and I fly over him as a pick. The man sleepeth, while I 
watch. Lo, it is the Lord that distracteth the hearts of men, and that giveth 
the heart to man.” 20 

4,2 Now what rational person who receives the “profitable” message 
with understanding and cares for his salvation, can fail to despise a 
false religion like this, and the speech of someone who boasts of being a 
prophet but cannot talk like a prophet? (3) For the Holy Spirit never spoke 
in him. Such expressions as “I fly,” and “strike,” and “watch,” and “The Lord 
distracteth men’s hearts,” are the utterances of an ecstatic. They are not 
the words of a rational man, but of someone of a different stamp from the 
Holy Spirit who spoke in the prophets. 

4,4 When the Phrygians are undertaking to combine falsehood with 
truth and rob of their intelligence persons who care for accuracy, they pile 
up 21 texts to make a false case for their imposture, and < to prove their lies 
from them* >, say that certain scriptures bear a resemblance to it. < For 
instance >, the holy scripture has said, “God sent an ‘ecstasy’ upon Adam, 
and he slept.” 22 

But Adam’s case was nothing like theirs. (5) In their case God did not 
mean to fashion a body — his reason for putting Adam into a trance — 
and, of his extreme lovingkindness, give them a similar experience. 
(6) God brought the unconsciousness of sleep upon Adam, not distraction 
of mind. 

There are many different forms of ecstasy. We call stupefaction from 
excess of wonder an ecstasy; and madness is called ecstasy because it is 
out of touch with reality. (7) But Adam’s “ecstasy” of sleep was so called in 
a different sense, one related to the activity of his body, especially because 
the holy Adam whom God’s hand had fashioned was cast into a very deep 

20 Tertullian maintains that a prophet loses his senses because he is overshadowed by 
the power of God, and cannot know what he has said, Adv. Marc. 4.22.4-5. At Adv. Marc. 
4.22.1; 5.8.12 he equates ecstasy with amentia. 

21 Reading emo'wpEuoucn <te> X6you? with the omission of the te. 

22 LXX Gen 2:21. Tertullian, who regards dreams as a kind of madness, explains Adam’s 
“ecstasy" similarly at De Anima 45.1-6; 23. 



5.1 For it is indeed plain that the sacred scripture was right to call this 
ecstasy. When someone is asleep, all his senses leave him and take a rest. 
Though the sense of sight is there, for example, it does not see; the eye is 
closed, and the mover in the man, the spirit or soul, is at rest. (2) If there 
is an unpleasant odor in the house or even a pleasant one, the sense of 
smell is there but does not perceive the odor; this sense has gone off to 
take a rest. (3) If there are bitter, or salty or sweet fluids in the mouth, the 
sense of taste does not perceive them; it lies in the ecstasy of rest without 
doing what it did in the man when he was awake. 

5,4 The ear is there, but the hearing is not functioning as a sense. And 
if people are talking in the house it often does not hear what anyone says 
unless the man wakes up; for the time being, its function is suspended. 
(5) Creatures can be crawling on our bodies, but we do not feel their touch 
on our bodies unless their onslaught is severe; the whole body has aban- 
doned its activity for the rest of sleep. 

5,6 For the body is made of earth and envelops the soul, and since God 
made it serviceable to us in this way, it is allowed a time of withdrawal 
from its full sensation to a state of rest. The soul itself does not abandon 
its function of governance or thought. (7) It often imagines and sees itself 
as though it were awake, and walks around, does work, crosses the sea, 
addresses crowds — and sees itself in more situations, and more striking 
ones, in its dreams. 23 (8) But it is not like a madman, or an ecstatic in a 
transport. He takes frightful things in hand while awake in body and soul, 
and often does grievous harm to himself and his neighbors. He does not 
know what he is saying and doing, for he has fallen into the ecstasy of 

6.1 Beloved, I have needed to gather all this material < about > the 
various kinds of ecstasy because of the text, “The Lord sent an ecstasy 
upon Adam, and he slept.” 24 (2) And I have explained why going to sleep 
is called an “ecstasy from the Lord” in that passage. It is because of the 
compassion and lovingkindess God has granted to all, so that one may be 
removed from care and the business of living to the rest of sleep. (3) In 
Adam’s case, however, God further called it ecstasy because it made him 
insensitive to pain for a time, because of the side God meant to take from 
him and make into his wife. 

23 Cf. Tertullian’s description of dreams at De Anima 45; dreams, while a form of mad- 
ness, are healthy and natural. 

24 Gen 2:21. 



6,4 But Adam’s senses and wits were not in abeyance. He recognized 
Eve as soon as he awoke, and said, “This is now bone of my bone and 
flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘wife,’ for she was taken out of her 
husband.” 25 (5) And as you see, he was aware of the past and the present, 
and made a prophecy of the future. Look here, by saying “bone of my 
bone” he took notice of what had happened while he was asleep. And he 
was aware of the present; after his wife had been made he was aware that 
she had been taken from < his > body. (6) And of the future he proph- 
esied, “For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall 
cleave unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” 26 These are not the 
words of a man in an ecstasy or without understanding, but of a person 
of sound mind. 

7,1 But if I also have to speak of “I said in my ecstasy, all men are liars,” 27 
the meaning of this, again, is different. These are not the words of a mad- 
man and an ecstatic < as the Phrygians claim* > — far from it! — (2) but of 
someone who is very surprised, and is taking more notice than usual < of > 
things that are < not > fit to be said and done. For since the prophet was 
astonished, he also speaks with astonishment here. 

7,3 The prophets fell into trances, < but* > not into distraction. Peter 
too was in an “ecstasy,” 28 not because he was irrational but because 
he saw things other than what men usually see in the everyday world. 

(4) “For he saw a sheet let down, bound at the four corners, and in it all 
manner of four-footed beasts and creeping things and birds of the air.” 29 

(5) Observe that St. Peter was rational, and not out of his mind. For when 
he heard < the words >, “Arise, kill and eat,” 30 he did not obey like a per- 
son of unsound mind, but told the Lord, “Not so, Lord; nothing common 
or unclean hath at any time come into my mouth.” 31 

7,6 And the holy David said, “< I said >, all men are liars.” 32 In saying, 
“I said,” he was speaking for himself, and saying that people lie. Thus he was 
not lying — but he expressed great astonishment because he was amazed 

25 Gen 2:23. 

26 Gen 2:24. 

27 Ps 115:2. 

28 Didymus at Comm. In Acts 10:10 (Labriolle p. 162). Tertullian insists at C. Marc. 
4.22.4-5 that Peter’s recognition of Moses and Elijah could have taken place only in a 
state of ecstasy. 

29 Acts 10:11-12. 

30 Acts 10:13. 

31 Cf. Acts 10:14. 

32 Ps 05:2. 



and astounded at God’s lovingkindness and the things the Lord had told 
him. (7) And, seeing that everyone is in need of God’s mercy, he ascribed 
truth-telling to the Lord alone, and realized that every human being is 
deserving of punishment — thus evidencing the true Spirit, who spoke 
in the prophets and revealed to them the depths of the exact knowledge 
of God. 

7,8 Abraham too fell into ecstasy — not the abeyance of his wits but the 
distraction of fear. He saw the furnace and the torches about sundown 
< and was afraid, as* > other prophets said when they saw visions in their 
right minds, (g) Moses, for example, said, “I fear exceedingly and quake.” 33 
But Abraham knew what the Lord was saying, for < scripture says >, “Thou 
shalt know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger 400 years in a land 
that is not theirs.” 34 (10) And you see how plain it is that everything was 
said in truth by the prophets with sound mind and sober reason, and not 
in madness. 

8,1 But even though they choose to reply, “The former gifts are not 
like the latter,” 35 how can they prove it? The holy prophets and the holy 
apostles prophesied alike. (2) In the first place, those who saw the two 
men in white when the Savior ascended into heaven did not see them in 
derangement, but with sound minds heard [them say], “Ye men of Galilee, 
why stand ye gazing up unto heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up 
from you into heaven, shall so come,” 36 and so on. (3) And then, as I said, 
Peter was in his right mind when he saw, heard, and gave his answer, and 
said, “Not so, Lord.” 37 

8,4 Agabus spoke prophetically and hinted at his meaning with an 
unusual gesture, when he took Paul’s girdle, bound his own feet, and said, 
“He whose girdle this is, him shall they bind and carry to Jerusalem.” 38 
(5) And in turn, prophets came down to Antioch and declared that there 
would be a world-wide famine, and their prediction did not fail; to show 
that they were true prophets, the scripture adds at once, “Which thing 
came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.” 39 

33 Deut 9:19; Heb 12:21. 

34 Gen 15:13. 

35 Tertullian says that the Paraclete’s instructions are novelties of discipline but not of 
doctrine, Monog. 3.8; 9; Virg. Vel. 1.2-4. 

36 Acts 1:11. 

37 Acts 10:14. 

38 Acts 21:11. 

39 Acts 21:11. 



8,6 And the most holy apostle Paul prophesied, “Now the Spirit saith 
expressly that in the last days harsh times shall come,” 40 and so on. 

(7) And again, in another place, “Some shall fall away from sound doc- 
trine, giving heed to seducing < spirits > and doctrines of devils, forbid- 
ding to marry and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath 
created to be partaken of by us < who receive them > with thanksgiving.” 41 

(8) The material before this < will > itself < make it plain > that < this > has 
clearly come true, in you and in others like you. Most of these sects forbid 
marriage and enjoin abstinence from foods, though they do not do this 
for discipline’s sake or for greater virtue with its rewards and crowns, but 
because they regard these creatures of the Lord as abominations. 

g,i Now the holy catholic church reveres virginity, monogamy and 
purity, commends widowhood, and honors and accepts lawful wedlock; 
but it forbids fornication, adultery and unchastity. (2) This will show the 
character of the holy catholic church and the false customs of the others — 
[show], < likewise >, who has seen fit to avoid every imposture, crooked 
path and uphill track. (3) For I have said before — as has just been said 
by the most holy apostle and I shall now repeat — that it was to make us 
secure and distinguish the character of the holy catholic church from the 
imposture of the sects, that Paul said how arrogantly the sects which for- 
bid matrimony and prescribe abstinence from foods prohibit God’s good 
ordinances by law. 

9,4 For it was < with > a certain fitness that the divine Word said, “Wilt 
thou be perfect?” 42 in the Gospel. Although he makes allowances for 
human clay and its frailty, he rejoices in those who can show the marks 
of piety and choose to practice virginity, purity and continence. Still, he 
honors marriage to one spouse, (5) even though he prefigures the gifts of 
the priesthood chiefly by means of persons who stayed continent after 
one marriage, and persons who remained virgin, and his holy apostles 
so established the canonical rule of the priesthood, with decency and 
holiness. 43 (6) But if, from frailty, someone needs to contract a second 
marriage after the death of his wife, the rule of the truth does not prohibit 
this — that is, provided he is not a priest. 

40 2 Tim 3:1. 

41 1 Tim 4:1; 3. 

42 Matt 10:21. 

43 Didasc. 4, A-F p. 14. 



But these people do forbid it — “forbidding to marry,” 44 as scripture 
says. They expel anyone who has contracted a second marriage, and make 
their rule against second marriage a matter of compulsion. 

For our part, we lay necessity on no one. As a good counsel we urge 
those who can [to follow this rule], but we lay no necessity on one who 
cannot, and surely do not expel him from life. 45 (g) The holy word every- 
where declared that we must bear with the frailty of the weak. We shall 
find at once that, to shame people like these < who expel persons* > who 
do not have the same gift as they, the holy apostle says, “Younger widows 
refuse; (10) for after they wax wanton against Christ they will marry, hav- 
ing condemnation because they have left their first faith.” 46 For widows 
who have promised and broken their promise have condemnation, while 
those who made no promise, but married from frailty, will not have con- 
demnation. If they were to have condemnation, why did Paul say, “Let 
them marry, guide the house.” 47 

10,1 We find then that every prophet, whether in the Old Testament 
or in the New, prophesies with understanding, as St. John said in Rev- 
elation: “The Lord revealed these things to his servants through his ser- 
vant John,” 48 and, “Thus saith the Lord.” (2) The person who said this was 
sound of mind and understanding — see how < he says the same as the 
Old Testament prophets who say* >, “Thus saith the Lord,” and “the vision 
which he saw.” 

10.3 But this Montanus, who has deceived his victims with his boast 
of being a prophet, describes things which are not consistent with sacred 
scripture. For in his so-called prophecy he says, “Why sayest thou, [Only] 
he that is more than man can be saved? 49 For the righteous shall shine an 
hundredfold brighter than the sun; and the least of you that are saved, an 
hundredfold brighter than the moon.” 

10.4 But the Lord confounds him. And it is he who has the power to 
grant radiance to the faces of the saints, who made Moses’ face shine, and 
who will transform his saints, who are sown in dishonor and raised in 

44 1 Tim 4:3. This discipline was crucial to Montanists, cf. Tert. Pudic. 1.20; Adv. Marc. 
1.29.4; Carn. Res. 8.4; Monog., especially 1.2; 14.3. Cf. Jer. Ep. 41.3.1. 

45 Montanists regarded second marriages as adultery (Tert. Monog. 15.1; Adv. Hermog. 
1.2) and excommunicated those who contracted them (Jer. Ep. 41.3.1). 

46 1 Tim 5:11-12. Tertullian takes this passage to mean that the church should not receive 
younger widows as converts, Monog. 13.1. 

47 1 Tim 5:14. 

48 Cf. Rev 1:1. 

49 A reference to the rigor of second century penitential discipline? 



glory, at the coming resurrection of bodies. (5) Not transform bodies other 
than their own but change their own bodies, raised entire, and receiving 
glory, after < the resurrection >, from him who gives glory unstintingly to 
his saints. For as Lord and God he has the power to grant and bestow 

10,6 But although he has < the power > to grant this, he did not make 
promises like Montanus’; he said, “Your faces shall shine as the sun.” 50 
Now if Jesus Christ, who has the power and is our true Master and Lord, 
says that the faces of the righteous will shine as the sun, how can Mon- 
tanus promise a hundred times more? (7) Only if he is like the one who 
promised Adam, ‘Ye shall be as gods,” 51 and secured his expulsion from 
the glory he had and the enjoyment of Paradise, and his degradation to 
the corruption of death. 

11,1 This same Montanus goes on to add, “I am the Lord God, the 
Almighty, dwelling in a man.” (2) Happily the sacred scripture, and the 
course of the Holy Spirit’s teaching, keeps us safe by giving us warnings so 
that we will know which are the counterfeits of the strange spirit and the 
opposites of the truth. (3) Simply by saying this, Montanus has suggested 
that we remember the words of the Lord. For the Lord says in the Gos- 
pel, “I came in my Father’s name and ye received me not. Another shall 
come in his own name, and such a one will ye receive.” 52 (4) Montanus 
is thus in total disagreement with the sacred scriptures, as any attentive 
reader can see. And since he is in disagreement, < he himself >, and the 
sect which like him boasts of having prophets and gifts, are strangers to 
the holy catholic church. He did not receive these gifts; he departed from 

n,5 What rational person would dare to call these people prophets 
instead of < saying > that such prophets are deceivers? Christ taught us, 
“I send unto you the Spirit, the Paraclete,” 53 and to give the signs of the 
Paraclete, said, “He shall glorify me.” 54 (6) And in fact it is plain that the 
holy apostles glorified the Lord after receiving the Paraclete Spirit, while 
this Montanus glorifies himself. The Lord glorified his Father; and in 
turn, the Lord Christ glorified the Spirit by calling him the Spirit of truth. 

50 Cf. Matt 13:43. 

51 Gen 3:5. 

52 John 5:43. 

53 Cf. John 16:7. 

54 John 16:4. 



Montanus, however, glorifies only himself, and says that he is the Father 
almighty, and that < the deceitful spirit* > which dwells in him < is the 
Paraclete* > — proof positive that he is not the Father, was not sent by the 
Father, and has received nothing from the Father. (7) “In the Lord was all 
the fullness of the Godhead pleased to dwell bodily,” 55 and “Of his fullness 
have all the prophets received,” 56 as St. John has told us. (8) And see how 
all the ancient [prophets] announced Christ, and how those who came 
after them glorified Christ and confessed him. But Montanus intruded 
himself by saying that he was somebody, proof that he is not Christ, was 
not sent by Christ, and has received nothing from Christ. 

11,9 This pathetic little nobody, Montanus, says in turn, “Neither angel 
nor messenger, but I the Lord, God the Father, have come.” 57 In so saying 
he will be exposed as a heretic, for he is not glorifying Christ, whom every 
regular gift which has been given in the holy church truly glorified. (10) 
For we shall find that Montanus is outside the body of the church and the 
Head of all, and “does not hold the Head, from whom the whole body, knit 
together, increaseth,” 58 as scripture says. For the actual true Son, our Lord 
Jesus Christ, showed that he was a Son; but Montanus even says that he 
is the Father. 

12,1 When you Phrygians say you left the church over gifts of grace 59 
how can we believe you? Even though you are disguised with the title 
of “Christian,” you have launched another enemy attack on us. You have 
taken up the barbarians’ quarrel and mimicked the enmity of the Trojans, 
who were also Phrygians! (2) Things that are different from gifts and — as 
your own prophets say — not the same kind that the Lord promises, can- 
not be gifts. 

12,3 And in turn, you introduce us to — Maximilla! Even your names 
are different and scary, with nothing pleasant and melodious about them, 
but with a certain wildness and savagery. (4) At once this Maximilla, who 
belongs to these so-called Phrygians — listen to what she says, children of 
Christ! “Hearken not unto me, but hearken unto Christ! 60 

55 Col 2:9. 

56 Cf. John 1:16. 

57 Cf. Isa 63:9. At Adv. Marc. 4.22.11 Tertullian applies this saying to Christ himself. 

58 Col 2:19. 

59 Tert. Adv. Prax. 1.7, “et nos quidem postea agnitio paradyti atque defensio disjunxit a 

60 Cf Luke 10:16. 



12.5 Even where she seemed to be glorifying Christ, she was wrong. If 
she were Christ’s she would talk like the holy apostles, as each < of them > 
says — Peter first, who says, “We have heard of him.” 61 And the Lord him- 
self says, “He that heareth you, heareth me.” 62 And Paul says, “Be ye imita- 
tors of me, as I am of Christ.” 63 

12.6 But in the act of lying she is telling the truth, even against her will. 
She is right to say not to listen to her, but to Christ. Unclean spirits are 
often forced to denounce themselves < as > not of the truth and to show, 
willy nilly and under duress, who their Lord is. 64 (7) As the damsel with 
the oracular spirit said, “These men are servants of the most high God”; 65 
and [as the demon in the Gospel said], “Why hast thou come before the 
time to torment us? I know thee who thou art, the holy one of God.” 66 
So Maximilla, under compulsion, said not to listen to her, but to Christ. 
(8) Now how can those who have heard this from her and believed her 
care to listen to her — when they have learned from her not to listen to 
her, but to the Lord! In fact if they had any sense they shouldn’t listen to 
her, since her oracles are of the earth. 

12,9 And don’t tell me that she was in a rational state! A rational person 
doesn’t condemn himself in his own teaching. If she said anything like, 
“Don’t listen to me,” what sort of spirit was speaking in her? (10) For if 
she spoke humanly, then she was not in the Holy Spirit — for it is plain 
that in saying, “Do not listen to me,” she was speaking humanly, and was 
not in the Holy Spirit. But if she was not in the Holy Spirit from on high 
but was thinking humanly, she knew nothing and was no prophetess. For 
she did not have the Holy Spirit, but spoke and delivered her oracles with 
human intelligence. 

12,11 But if she did speak and prophesy in the Holy Spirit — what sort 
of Holy Spirit would say, “Don’t listen to me?” The blindness of deceit is 
stone blind — and great is the word of God, which gives us understanding 
in every way, so that we may know what has been spoken by the Holy 
Spirit’s inspiration, here in the person of the Father, there in the person 
of the Son, there in the person of the Holy Spirit! 

61 Cf. Acts 4:20; 2 Pet 1:18. 

62 Luke 10:16. 

63 1 Cor 11:1. 

64 Catholic exorcists exorcise Montanist prophets at Eus. H. E. 5.16.7-8 (Apollinarius); 
18.13 (Apollonius); 19.3 (Serapion); Firmilian/Cyprian Ep. 45.10. 

65 Acts 16:16-17. 

66 Matt 8:29; Mark 1:24. 



12,12 And if the spirit in Maximilla were a holy < spirit >, it would not 
forbid its own utterances. “One is the Holy Spirit, that divideth to each as 
he will.” 67 (13) And if he has the power to divide as he will, and is called 
the Spirit of knowledge and the Spirit of piety, and is said to be the Spirit 
of God and the Spirit of Christ, proceeding from the Father and receiving 
of the Son and not foreign to the Father and the Son — then he didn’t 
say, “Do not listen to me!” (14) For the Spirit gave Christ’s message and 
Christ sends the Spirit, and casts out devils by the Holy Spirit. And the Son 
gives the Father’s message and the Father sanctified the Son and sent him 
into the world, that they might know him, and might glorify him as they 
glorify the Father. And the notion of those who separate themselves from 
the following of Christ is all wrong. 

13,1 In turn the same Maximilla — this “rational knowledge and teach- 
ing,” if 1 may be sarcastic — says, “The Lord hath sent me perforce, will- 
ing and not willing, to be votary, herald and interpreter of this burden 
and covenant and promise, to impart the knowledge of God.” 68 (2) Let us 
look to the firm foundation of our life, beloved, and the lighted pathway, 
and not trip on words of the adversary and the prey of the strange spirit. 
(3) See the prophet here, who spoke like that and denounced herself, not 
willingly but under compulsion. Our Lord did not come into the world 
unwillingly, and was not sent under compulsion by the Father. (4) He 
has the will in concert with the Father, and the performance of it in con- 
cert with the Holy Spirit. And as he himself has the will — and the giving 
of grace to all, not perforce but by his superabundant lovingkindness — 
in concert with the Father, even so, those whom he has called, he has 
called of their own choice, imposing no necessity and clapping no collars 
on them. (5) For he says, “Ye that thirst, come to me,” 69 and again, “If 
any man will come after me let him follow me.” 70 And he said the same 
through Isaiah: “If ye be willing and hearken.” 71 And later, to show who 
was speaking, the prophet said, "For the mouth of the Lord hath spoken 
these things.” 72 

67 1 Cor 12:11. 

68 OOTEdTEiXE fie xupio? . . . yivayxaoyEvov, SeXovto: xai p?) SeXovTa, yvwSeiv yvcoatv 8eou. Max- 
imilla refers to herself (her spirit?) in the masculine; Epiphanius, however, reads, “The 
Lord hath sent me to impart knowledge of God to the willing and the unwilling,” and 
refutes on this basis. 

69 John 7:37. 

70 Matt 16:24. 

71 Isa 1:19. 

72 Isa 58:14. 



13,6 And are you fully aware of their disagreement with the sacred 
text, and the difference between their notion and opinion, and the faith 
and following of God? (7) For Maximilla also said that she compelled the 
willing and the unwilling [to know God] — so that her very words make 
her a liar. She neither taught the knowledge of God — which she did not 
know — to the willing, nor compelled the unwilling [to learn it]. (8) It goes 
without saying that the whole world does not know Maximilla’s name, or 
her misstatements. And their erroneous notion is all wrong, and no part 
of God’s truth. 

14,1 Phrygians also venerate a deserted spot in Phrygia, a town once 
called Pepuza though it is now leveled, and say that the heavenly Jerusa- 
lem will descend there. 73 (2) And so they resort there, celebrate certain 
mysteries 74 on the site, and, as they suppose, sanctify < themselves >. For 
this breed is also to be found in Cappadocia and Galatia — and in Phrygia 
as I said, which is why the sect is called the Phrygian. But they are in Cili- 
cia too and, for the most part, in Constantinople. 

14.3 But to omit nothing that bears on the name of every sect I have 
discussed, I shall also speak, in its turn, of the Tascodrugians’. For this 
name is used either in this sect itself, or the one after it, which is called 
the sect of the Quintillianists — for this name too originates with these 
people themselves. 

14.4 They are called Tascodrugians for the following reason. Their word 
for “peg” is “tascus,” and “drungus” is their word for “nostril” or “snout.” 
And since they put their licking finger, as we call it, on their nostril when 
they pray, for dejection, if you please, and would-be righteousness, some 
people have given them the name of Tascodrugians, or “nose-pickers.” 75 

14.5 They say that a shocking, wicked thing is done in this sect — or in 
its sister sect, the one called the sect of the Quintillianists or Priscillianists, 
and Pepuzians. (6) At a certain festival they pierce a child — just a little 

73 Eus. H. E. 5.18.2; 13; Cyr. Cat. 16.8; Filast. Haer. 49.4. Tertullian speaks of the descent 
of the heavenly Jerusalem without mentioning Pepuza, Adv. Marc. 3.24.3-4. Jerome says 
that Montanist patriarchs reside at Pepuza, Ep. 41.3.2. 

74 Tertullian speaks of distinctively Montanist rites in diversis provinciis, Jejun. 13.5, cf. 

75 Filast. Haer. 76 appears to describe this group under the name of “Passalorinchitae.” 
At Haer. 75 he speaks of “Ascodrugians,” who dance wildly around an inflated wineskin. 



baby — all over its body with bronze needles and get its blood for sacrifice, 
if you please. 76 

15,1 But I am content with what I have said about this sect in its turn, 
beloved. I promised to withhold nothing about any sect I know, but to 
disclose what I have learned by word of mouth, and from treatises, docu- 
ments, and persons who truly confirmed my notion. (2) Thus, by writing 
no more than I know, I will < not > appear to be guilty of inventing my 
own false charges against people, and of getting into the same position as 
they by not telling the truth, but declaring things that they have neither 
seen, heard, nor learned from the true teaching of the Holy Spirit. 

15,3 I give all the facts, as I said, with accuracy, about each sect, and 
make these shocking disclosures for the readers’ correction. And I prepare 
a sort of medicine made of refutation from the words of sacred scripture 
and right reasonings, (4) and compound < it > in the Lord for two pur- 
poses: for the recovery of the sufferers from their illness and great pain, 
but for (5) a prophylactic, as it were, for those who have never contracted 
the disease. Thus may I too be called a disciple of the Lord’s disciples 
for imparting the medicine of the truth to the wise, and a disciple of the 
Savior himself, the help of bodies and souls. 

r5,6 Now, with the power of Christ, let me set myself to go on to the 
rest, since I feel that this here will be enough for this sect. I have crushed 
its poison, and the venom on its hooked fangs, with the cudgel of the truth 
of the cross. For it is like the viper of hemorrhage, whose mischief is to 
drain the blood from its victims’ entire bodies and so cause their deaths. 
(7) For this sect and the sect of Quintillianists do the same thing. They 
stab the body of an innocent child and get its blood to drink, and delude 
their victims by < pretending* >, if you please, that this is initiation in the 
name of Christ. 

r5,8 But as we go on to the rest by the power of Christ, let us call upon 
his truth that we may track down the meaning of each imposture, and 
after detecting and refuting it, render our accustomed thanks in all things 
to God. 

76 Cyr. Cat. 16.8: Jer. Ep. 41.4.1. Theod. Haer. Fab. 3.2 and Praedestinatus 26 report this 
as a rumor which may not be true. 



Against Quintillianists or Pepuzians, also known as Priscillianists, 1 
with whom the Artotyrites are associated. 29, but 49 of the series 

1,1 The Quintillianists in their turn, who are also called Pepuzians and 
known as Artotyrites and Priscillianists, are the same as the Phrygians 
and derive from them, but in a certain way are different. (2) For the 
Quintillianists or Priscillianists say that either Quintilla 2 or Priscilla — I 
cannot say for certain, but one of them, as I said, slept in Pepuza and, as 
the deluded women said, Christ came to her and slept beside her, thus: 
(3) “Christ came to me in the form of a woman,” 3 she said, “dressed in 
a white robe, imbued me wisdom, and revealed to me that this place is 
holy, and that Jerusalem will descend from heaven here.” (4) And so even 
to this day, they say, certain women — men too — are initiated there on 
the site, so that those women or men may await Christ and see him. 4 
(5) (They have women they call prophetesses. 5 I am not sure, though, 
whether this custom is theirs or the Phrygians’; they are associated and 
have the same ideas.) 

2.1 They use the Old and the New Testaments, and likewise affirm the 
resurrection of the dead. Their founder is Quintilla, along with Priscilla 
who was also a Phrygian prophetess. 

2.2 They cite many texts pointlessly, and give thanks to Eve because 
she was the first to eat from the tree of wisdom. 6 And as scriptural sup- 
port for their ordination of women as clergy, they say that Moses’ sister 
was a prophetess. 7 What is more, they say, Philip had four daughters who 
prophesied. 8 

1 Only Epiphanius distinguishes this group from the Montanists, though PsT 7.2 sug- 
gests that there are Montanist sub-groups named for their leaders. Epiphanius might have 
conjectured the existence of this sect from the distinctiveness of Priscilla’s vision, or from 
its occurrence in a document different from his collection of Montanist prophecies. 

2 Only Epiphanius mentions Quintilla. 

3 “Tetrad” appears in female form at Iren. Haer. 1.14.1; Protennoia does the same at NHC 
Tri. Prot. 42,17-18. 

4 Or, “may live long enough to see Christ.” 

5 Tertullian considers woman prophets a mark of divine endorsement and cites 1 Cor 
11:5 (Adv. Marc. 5.8.11); cf. De Anima 9.4. 

6 Eve is the “instructor of life" at NHL Orig. Wld. 113,33; cf- Apoc. Adam 69,14-18. For 
further material see Pagels. 

7 Did. Trin. 3.41.23. 

8 Eus. H. E. 3.37.1; 5.17.3; Did. Trin. 3.41.3. 



2.3 In their church seven virgins often come in carrying lamps, if you 
please, dressed in white, to prophesy to the people. (4) They deceive the 
congregation with a show of some sort of inspiration and, as though urg- 
ing them to the mourning of penitence, 9 get them all weeping, shedding 
tears and pretending to mourn for humankind. (5) They have woman 
bishops, presbyters and the rest; 10 they say that none of this makes any 
difference because "In Christ Jesus there is neither male nor female.” * 11 
(6) This is what I have learned [about them]. However, they call them 
Artotyrites because they set forth bread and cheese in their mysteries and 
celebrate their mysteries with them. 12 

3,1 But every human illusion < comes of > deserting the right faith and 
opting for something impossible, and for various frenzies and secret rites. 
For if they do not cling to the anchor of the truth but entrust themselves 
< to their own reason* >, their minds are always maddened, and bring 
them [to frenzy] for any reason at all. (2) Even though it is because of Eve 
that they ordain women to the episcopate and presbyterate, they should 
listen to the Lord when he says, “Thy resort shall be to thine husband, 
and he shall rule over thee.” 13 (3) And they have overlooked the apostle’s 
command, “I suffer not a woman to speak, or to have authority over a 
man,” 14 and again, “The man is not of the woman, but the woman of the 
man, 15 and, “Adam was not deceived, but Eve, deceived first, fell into con- 

What a profusion of error there is in this world! 

3.4 And now that < I have squashed* > a toothless, witless < serpent* > 
like a gecko, I shall pass this sect by, beloved, and go on to the rest, call- 
ing upon God as the help of my lowliness, and for the fulfillment of my 

9 For Montanist emphasis on penitence see Eus. H. E. 5.18.9. 

10 A prophetess celebrates the eucharist, preaches and baptizes at Firmilian/Cyprian 
Ep 75.10; Epiphanius criticizes the Marcionite practice of baptism by women at Pan 42,4,5. 

11 Gal 3:28. 

12 Sacramental use of cheese is found at Act. Perpet. 4.9; possibly of milk at Tert. Adv. 
Marc. 1.14.3. 

13 Gen 3:16. 

14 1 Tim 2:12. 

15 1 Tim 2:14. 



Against Quarto decimans. 1 Number 30, but 50 of the series 

1,1 From these two intermingled sects of Phrygians and Quintillianists 
or Priscillianists, another one, called the sect of the Quartodecimans, 
emerged in its turn. (2) These too hold all the doctrines that the church 
does; but they lose hold of them all because of not adhering to the proper 
order and teaching, but still to Jewish fables. And yet their doctrines are 
not the same as the Jews’, “For they know not what they say nor whereof 
they afhrm.” 2 

1,3 Quartodecimans contentiously keep the Passover on one day, once 
a year, 3 even though their doctrine of the Father, the Son and the Holy 
Spirit is good and in agreement with < ours >, and they accept the proph- 
ets, apostles and evangelists, and likewise confess the resurrection of the 
flesh, the judgment to come and everlasting life. (4) But they have fallen 
into an error, and one of no small importance, by supposedly following 
the letter of the Law’s saying, “Cursed is he who shall not keep the Pass- 
over on the fourteenth day of the month.” 4 (5) Others though, who keep 
the same one day and fast and celebrate the mysteries on the same one 
day, boast that they have found the precise date in the Acts of Pilate, if 
you please; it says there that the Savior suffered on the eighth before the 
Kalends of April. 5 

1,6 They will keep the Passover on whichever day it is that the four- 
teenth of the month falls; 6 but the ones in Cappadocia keep the eighth 
before the Kalends of April as that same one day. (7) And there is no little 
dissension in their ranks, since some say the fourteenth day of the month, 
but some, the eighth before the Kalends of April. (8) Furthermore, I have 
found copies of the Acts of Pilate which say that the passion came on the 
fifteenth before the Kalends of April. 7 But in fact, as I know from much 
minute investigation, I have found that the Savior suffered on the thir- 

1 Cf. Eus. H. E. 5.23-24; Hippol. Haer. 8.18; PsT 8.1. These are authors Epiphanius knows, 
but at 1,5-8 he shows further knowledge, independent of them, of the Quartodecimans. 

2 1 Tim 1:7. 

3 I.e., rather than keeping a week-long fast. Cf. Eus. H.E. 5.24.12 (Irenaeus). 

4 Cf. Lev 23:5; Num 9:4-5; Deut 27:28, and see Hippol. Haer. 8.18.1. 

5 I.e., the day of the spring equinox. Cf. Acts of Pilate, Prologue; Hippol. In Dan. 4:23; 
Tert. Adv. Jud. 8. 

6 So Hippol. Haer. 8.18.1. 

7 Probably a variant date of the spring equinox (Strobel p. 223). 



teenth before the Kalends of April 8 Some, however, say it was the tenth 
before the Kalends of April. 9 

1,9 But the Quartodecimans too have departed from the prescribed 
path. (But I am afraid of making my discussion of them extremely long 
too, for I have a great deal to say.) (2,1) After he had finished the entire 
Law, the law-giver Moses was commanded by God to put all the curses in 
the last book, Deuteronomy — not only the curse about the Passover, but 
the ones about circumcision, tithing and offerings. (2) Thus if they avoided 
one curse they fell foul of many. They would be accursed if they were not 
circumcised and accursed if they did not tithe; and they are accursed for 
not presenting offerings at Jerusalem. (3) Shame on the people who get 
themselves into all kinds of quarrels! Well may we quote the wise saying 
of the Preacher, expressly set forth for us by the Holy Spirit: "This the 
preacher doth know, that God hath made the wise man a straight path, 
but they have sought for themselves many ways.” 10 

2,4 In what way is their idea not wrong? In the first place, if they keep 
the Passover on the fourteenth of the month, they need to take the lamb 
on the tenth and keep it until the fourteenth, and there is no longer one 
day of fasting but five: the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth and four- 
teenth. (5) But if the paschal lamb is killed toward evening, by its dawning 
this fourteenth day makes six days in the fast, and there will no longer 
be one fast day — and their quest for one day has failed, since there is no 
one day. 

2,6 For the types [of the Lord’s death and resurrection] have been 
combined at the cost of no little godly study. Christ needed to be slain 
on the fourteenth of the month in accordance with the Law, so that their 
light that illumined them under the Law would go out for them, since the 
sun had risen and hidden the light of the moon. (7) For the moon is on 
the wane after the fourteenth. Hence even in the Law the Jewish syna- 
gogue was dimmed by Christ’s incarnation and passion, and the Gospel 
outshone it — although, because the Law was not abolished but served to 
prove the truth, the Law was not destroyed but fulfilled. 

8 This date is given in the spurious Acta of the Council of Caesarea 1; Martin of Bracara 
De Pascha 1; Niceta of Remesiana (=Tractatus Athanasii) 1; Soz. Hist. 7.18. Sozomen says 
that it is the date celebrated by Montanists. 

9 Consularia Constant. MG. Auct. Antiq. g.220; Chronicon Paschale 218; Lactantius Div. 
Inst. 4.10.8. 

10 Eccles 7:29. 



2,8 So too, at the celebration of the Passover in Jericho the sacred 
scripture at once added, “And the children of Israel kept the Passover and 
ate it in Gilgal, and the manna ceased.” 11 (g) This was its further testimony 
to them, and its prophecy that their angelic, heavenly food, which they 
called manna, 12 would come to an end because of the Lord’s suffering for 
their denial of God. 

3,1 But since she makes the combination she does, God’s holy church 
does not miss the truth of the observance of this mystery in any way. 
(2) She observes not only the fourteenth day, but also the seventh as it 
recurs regularly < in the > order of the seven days of the week, so that the 
resurrection and the festival will correspond with the deeds of the Lord 

< just as > they do with the type [of them]. (3) And she observes not only 
the fourteenth day of the lunar month, but the course of the sun as well, 
so that we will not keep two Passovers in one year and not even celebrate 
one in another. 

3.4 We observe the fourteenth day, then, but we wait until after the 
equinox and bring the end of our fulfillment [of the commandment] 13 
to the sacred Lord’s Day. But we take the lamb on the tenth day by 
acknowledging the name of Jesus through its “iota,” 14 so that, < by > the 
true canonical practice of them, we will neglect no part of this life-giving 

< festival > of the Passover in accordance with the entire truth. 

3.5 However, since by Christ’s power I am done with the swollenness 
of this gudgeon or toad, I shall pass it by and give my attention to the rest, 
making my usual supplication for God’s help. 

6,i Against the sect which does not accept the Gospel according to John, 
and his Revelation. 31, but 5; of the series * 1 

1,1 Following these sects — after the the ones called Phrygians, Quintillian- 
ists and Quartodecimans — there arose another sect, like a feeble snake 
which cannot bear the odor of dittany — that is, storax — or of frankin- 
cense or southernwood, or the smell of pitch, incense, lignite or hartshorn. 

11 Josh 5:10-12. 

12 I.e., the Law. 

13 The commandment, “They shall take to them every man a lamb . . Exod 12:3-6. 

14 Ten. 

1 Individuals or groups who took this position are described at Iren. Haer. 3.11.9; Eus. 

H. E. 7.25.2-3; Hippol. Capitula Adversus Gaium. Epiph may himself have read works of 
this nature, see 51,29,1; 5. 



(2) For those who are familiar with them say that these substances have 
the effect of driving poisonous snakes away; and some call dittany “tit- 
tany” 2 because professional physicians use it as an aid for women in child- 
birth. 3 I may thus appropriately compare it with the divine Word who 
descended from the heavens, and has been begotten of the Father outside 
of time and without beginning. 

1.3 Solomon says of a foolish, worthless woman, "She hateth a word 
of sureness.” 4 These people too have hated the Gospel’s surenesses, since 
they are of the earth and at enmity with the heavens. (4) Therefore, for 
fear of the Holy Spirit’s voice which says, “The voice of the Lord restoreth 
the hinds,” 5 < they reject his proclamation of the divine Word* > who told 
his servants and apostles, “Lo, I have given you power to tread upon ser- 
pents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy.” 6 (5) For this is 
the voice that restores the hinds, the voice which resounded in the world 
through the holy apostles and evangelists, to trample on the devil’s oppo- 
sition. < One of > these, St. John, checked this with the utmost effective- 
ness, and tried the power of the deceived, and of the snakelike heretics. 

2,1 But these people will not prevail in the ark. The holy Noah is directed 
by God’s command to make the ark secure, as God says to him, “Thou shalt 
pitch it within and without” 7 ’ 8 — to prefigure God’s holy church, which has 
the power of pitch, which drives the horrid, baneful, snake-like teachings 
away. For where pitch is burned, no snake can remain. (2) The holy sto- 
rax incense stuns them, and they avoid its sweet odor. And the power of 
southernwood or frankincense < drives them away* > if it grows over the 
serpent itself and sprouts above its den. 

2.3 For in the same place — 1 mean in Asia — where Ebion, Cerinthus 
and their coterie preached that Christ is a mere man and the product 
of sexual intercourse, the Holy Spirit caused this sacred plant or shrub 
to sprout which has driven the serpent away and destroyed the devil’s 
tyranny. (4) For in his old age St.John was told by the Holy Spirit to preach 
there, 9 and bring back those who had lost their way on the journey — 



4 Prov 11:15. 

5 Ps 28:9. 

6 Luke 10:19. 

7 Gen 6:14. 

8 The pun is on ETraatpaXiawSai and datpaXTcoaEu;. 

9 Iren. Haer. 3.2.1, and the reconstructed monarchian prologue at Corssen pp. 80-81. 



[bring them], not by force but of their own free choice, by revealing God’s 
light to the obedient, which is in God’s holy teaching. (5) But how long 
must I go on? It is a fact that no snake can stay any longer or make its 
den where southernwood grows; and where God’s true teaching is, a den 
of snake-like teaching cannot prevail but will be destroyed. 

3.1 Now these Alogi say — this is what I call them. They shall be so 
called from now on, and let us give them this name, beloved, Alogi. (2) For 
they believed in the heresy for which < that* > name < was a good one* >, 
since it rejects the books by John. As they do not accept the Word which 
John preaches, they shall be called Dumb. 10 (3) As complete strangers to 
the truth’s message they deny its purity, and accept neither John’s Gospel 
nor his Revelation. 

3,4 And if they accepted the Gospel but rejected the Revelation, I would 
say they might be doing it from scrupulousness, and refusing to accept an 
“apocryphon” because of the deep and difficult sayings in the Revelation. 
(5) But since they do not accept the books in which St. John actually pro- 
claimed his Gospel, it must be plain to everyone that they and their kind 
are the ones of whom St. John said in his General Epistles, "It is the last 
hour and ye have heard that Antichrist cometh; even now, lo, there are 
many Antichrists.” 11 (6) For they offer excuses [for their behavior]. Know- 
ing, as they do, that St. John was an apostle and the Lord’s beloved, that 
the Lord rightly revealed the mysteries to him, and < that he* > leaned 
upon his breast, they are ashamed to contradict him and try to object to 
these mysteries for a different reason. For they say that they are not John’s 
composition but Cerinthus’, and have no right to a place in the church. 

4.1 And it can be shown at once, from this very attack, that they 
“understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm.” 12 How can 
the words which are directed against Cerinthus be by Cerinthus? (2) Cer- 
inthus says that Christ is of recent origin and a mere man, while John 
has proclaimed that < he > is the eternal Word, and has come from on 
high and been made flesh. From the very outset, then, their worthless 
quibble is exposed as foolish, and unaware of its own refutation. (3) For 
they appear to believe what we do; but because they do not hold to the 
certainties of the message God has revealed to us through St. John, they 
will be convicted of shouting against the truth about things which they do 

10 ’Akoyoi. 

11 1 John 2:16. 

12 1 Tim 1:7. 



not know. (4) They will be known to them, though, if they choose to sober 
up and take notice; I am not discarding the teachings of the Holy Spirit in 
all their importance and certainty. 

4,5 For they say against themselves — I prefer not to say, “against the 
truth” — that John’s books do not agree with the other apostles. 13 And now 
they think they can attack his holy, inspired teaching. (6) “And what,” they 
argue, "did he say, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with 
God, and the Word was God.’ 14 And, ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt 
among us, and we knew his glory, glory as of an only Son of a Father, full 
of grace and truth.’ 15 (7) And immediately afterwards, ‘John bare witness 
and cried, saying, This he of whom I said unto you,’ 16 and, ‘This is the 
Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.’ 17 

“And next he says, ‘They that heard him said, Rabbi, where dwellest 
thou?’ 18 and in the same breath, (8) ‘On the morrow Jesus would go forth 
into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.’ 19 (g) And 
shortly thereafter he says, ‘And after three days there was a marriage in 
Cana of Galilee, and Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage 
supper, and his mother was there.’ 20 (10) But the other evangelists say that 
he spent forty days in the wilderness tempted by the devil, and then came 
back and chose his disciples.” 

4,11 And dense as they are, they don’t know that each evangelist was 
concerned to say what the others had said, in agreement with them, while 
at the same time revealing what they had not said, but had omitted. For 
the will was not theirs; both their order and their teaching came from the 
Holy Spirit. (12) If our opponents want to attackjohn, they must learn that 
the other three did not begin from the same point in the narrative. 

For Matthew was the first to become an evangelist. The first issuance of 
the Gospel was assigned to him. (I have spoken largely of this in another 
Sect; 21 however, I shall not mind dealing with the same things again, as 
proof of the truth and in refutation of the erring.) (5,1) As I said, Mat- 
thew was privileged to be the first < to issue > the Gospel, and this was 

13 So, apparently, did the second century heretic Gaius. See Labriolle p. 48. 

14 John 1:1. 

15 John 1:14. 

16 John 1:15; 30. 

17 John 1:29. 

18 John 1:38. 

19 John 1:43. 

20 John 2:1-2. 

21 Pan. 20,8,4; 30,3,7. 



absolutely right. Because he had repented of many sins, and had risen from 
the receipt of custom and followed Him who came for man’s salvation and 
said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance,” 22 it 
was Matthew’s duty to present the message of salvation < first >, as an 
example for us, who would be saved like this man who was restored in 
the tax office and turned from his iniquity. From him men would learn 
the graciousness of Christ’s advent. 

5.2 For after the forgiveness of his sins he was granted the raising of 
the dead, the cleansing of leprosy, miracles of healing and the casting 
out of devils, so that he < would > not merely persuade his hearers by 
his speech, but publish 23 good tidings with actual deeds — [publish] the 
tidings of their salvation through repentance, to the perishing; the tidings 
that they would arise, to the fallen; and the tidings that they would be 
quickened, to the dead. 

5.3 Matthew himself wrote and issued the Gospel in the Hebrew alpha- 
bet, and did not begin at the beginning, but traced Christ’s pedigree from 
Abraham. “Abraham begat Isaac,” he said, “and Isaac begat Jacob,” 24 and 
so on down to Joseph and Mary. (4) And he wrote at the beginning, ‘The 
book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David,” and then said, 
“the son of Abraham.” 25 Then, coming to his main point, he said, “The birth 
of Jesus Christ was on this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused 
to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy 
Ghost. (5) And Joseph, being a just man, sought to put her away privily. 
And lo, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, Put not 
away thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. (6) 
For lo, she shall bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus. He shall 
save his people from their sins. And this was done,” he said, “to fulfill that 
which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold the virgin 
shall be with child,” 26 and so on. 

5,7 “And Joseph,” he said, “being raised from sleep, did so and took 
unto him his wife, and knew her not till she brought forth her first-born 
son, and he called his name Jesus. (8) Now when Jesus was born in Beth- 
lehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise 
men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born king of 

22 Matt 9:13. 

23 Klostermann: xv;pui;y]; Holl: <Suvv)Tai> xvjptiljai. 

24 Matt 1:2. 

25 Matt 1:1. 

26 Matt 1:18-23. 



the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship 
him.” 27 

5.9 Now then, where is the story of Zacharias? Where are the subjects 
Luke discussed? Where is the vision of the angel? Where is the prophecy 
about John the Baptist? Where is the rebuke of Zacharias, so that he could 
not speak until the angel’s words had come true? 

5.10 Where are the things Gabriel told the Virgin? Where is his reas- 
surance, when Mary answered the angel himself with wisdom and asked, 
“How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” 28 And where is his accurate 
and clear explanation, “The Spirit of the Lord shall come upon thee, and 
the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee?” 29 

6,1 Well, what shall I say? Because Matthew did not report the events 
which Luke related, can St. Matthew be in disagreement with the truth? 
Or is St. Luke not telling the truth, because he has said < nothing > about 
the things that had been previously dealt with by Matthew? (2) Didn’t 
God give each evangelist his own assignment, so that each of the four 
evangelists whose duty was to proclaim the Gospel could find what he 
was to do and proclaim some things in agreement and alike to show that 
they came from the same source, but otherwise 30 describe what another 
had omitted, as each received his proportionate share from the Spirit? 

6,3 Now what shall we do? Matthew declares that Mary gave birth in 
Bethlehem < and > < describes* > Christ’s incarnation in terms of the pedi- 
gree he traces from Abraham’s and David’s line. St. Mark, we find, says 
none of this (4) but begins the Gospel with the event that took place in 
the Jordan and says, “The beginning of the Gospel, as it is written in Isaiah 
the prophet, A voice of one crying in the wilderness.” 31 (5) < Is Mark lying, 
then? Of course not! There was no reason for him to repeat information 
which had already been given* >. Similarly, the things St. John discussed, 
and confirmed in the Holy Spirit, were not just meant to repeat what had 
already been proclaimed, but to speak of the teachings the others had had 
to leave to John. 

6,6 For the whole treatment of the Gospel was of this nature. After 
Matthew had proclaimed Christ’s generation, his conception through the 
Holy Spirit, < and > his incarnation as a descendant of David and Abraham, 

27 Matt 1:24-2:2. 

28 Luke 1:34. 

29 Luke 1:35. 

30 Klostermann itXko<; <aXk.u><;>, MSS aXkot;. 

31 Mark 1:1-3. 



an error arose in those who had not understood the narrative which was 
intended in good faith to provide assurance of these things from the Gos- 
pel. (Not that the Gospel was responsible for their error; their own wrong 
notion was.) (7) And this was why Cerinthus and Ebion held that Christ 
was a mere man, and < misled* > Merinthus, 32 Cleobius 33 or Cleobulus, 34 
Claudius, Demas 35 and Hermogenes, 36 who had loved this world and 
left the way of the truth. (8) For they contradicted the Lord’s disciples 
at that time, and tried to use the genealogy from Abraham and David as 
proof of their nonsense — not in good faith, but seizing on it as an excuse. 
(9) For they were often contradicted by St. John and his friends, Leucius 
and many others. But shamelessness struck its forehead, and did its best 
to bring its own woes on itself. 

6,10 Mark, who came directly after Matthew, was ordered by St. Peter 
at Rome to issue the Gospel, and after writing it was sent by St. Peter to 
Egypt. (11) He was one of the seventy-two who had been dispersed by the 
Lord’s saying, “Unless a man eat my flesh and drink my blood, he is not 
worthy of me” 37 — as < can be > plainly proved to the readers of the Gos- 
pels. Still, after his restoration by Peter he was privileged to proclaim the 
Gospel by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. 

6,12 He began his proclamation where the Spirit told him, and put the 
opening of it at the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, thirty years after Mat- 
thew’s account. (13) Since he was a second evangelist, and gave no clear 
indication of the divine Word’s descent from on high — he does this every- 
where plainly, but not with as much precision [as Matthew] — a darken- 
ing of their minds fell once more upon these misguided people, so that 
they were not held worthy of the Gospel’s illumination. (14) “Look,” they 
said, “here is a second Gospel too with an account of Christ, and nowhere 
does it say that his generation is heavenly. Instead,” they said, “the Spirit 
descended upon him in the Jordan and < there came* > a voice, ‘This is 
my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’ ” 38 

7,1 Since this was the conclusion that had been reached by these stupid 
people, the Holy Spirit compelled St. Luke and spurred him on to raise the 

32 Pan. 28,8,1. But there Epiphanius is unsure whether Merinthus is a heretic so named, 
or an alternate name for Cerinthus. 

33 Eus. H.E. 4.22.5 (Hegesippus); Didascalia 23 Connolly p.; Const. Ap. 6.8.1. 

34 Cf. Ps.-Ignatius Trail. 11. 

35 Col 4:14; Philem 24; 2 Tim 4:10. 

36 2 Tim 1:15. 

37 Cf. John 6:53. 

38 Cf. Mark 1:10-11. 



minds of the misguided from the lowest depths, as it were, and once again 
take up what the other evangelists had omitted. (2) < But > lest some mis- 
guided person should think his description of Christ’s generation ficti- 
tious, he carried the matter back, and for accuracy’s sake went through 
his whole account in the fullest detail. (3) And he produced those who 
had been ministers of the word as his witnesses in support of the truth; 
and he said, “Inasmuch as many have attacked,” 39 to show that there were 
attackers — I mean Cerinthus, Merinthus and the others. 

7,4 What does he say next? “It seemed good to me, having attended 
closely to them which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and minis- 
ters of the word, to write unto thee, most excellent Theophilus” — whether 
he said this because he was then writing to someone named Theophilus, 
or to every lover of God — “< that thou mayest know > the certainty of 
the things wherein thou hast been instructed.” 40 (5) And he said that the 
instruction was already written, as though Theophilus had already been 
instructed by others, but had not learned the precise truth from them 
with certainty. 

7,6 Next he says, “There was in the days of Herod the king a priest 
named Zacharias of the course of the high priest Abijah, and his wife was of 
the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.” 41 (7) And he begins 
before Matthew. Matthew had indicated a period of thirty years from the 
beginning, while Mark — like Matthew and Luke — had set down what hap- 
pened after < the > thirty years, the event which truly took place in the Jor- 
dan. (8) But Matthew began his account thirty years before the event at the 
Jordan and the baptism. Now Luke told of the period of six months before 
the Savior’s conception, and again, the period of the nine months and a few 
days following the conception of the Lord, so that the entire period of time 
[described in Luke] is thirty-one years and a bit more. 

7,9 Luke also describes the shepherds’ vision, [which was shown them] 
by the angels who brought them the tidings. And he describes how Christ 
was born in Bethlehem, laid in a manger in swaddling clothes, and cir- 
cumcised the eighth day, and how they made an offering for him forty 
days later in obedience to the Law, Simeon took <him> in his arms, and 
Anna the daughter of Phanuel gave thanks for him; and how he went away 
to Nazareth and returned to Jerusalem each year with his parents, who 

39 Luke 1:1. 

40 Luke 1:3-4. 

41 Luke 1:5. 



made the offerings for him that the Law required. But neither Matthew 
nor Mark has dealt with any of this, and certainly not John. Instead, they 
said, “the Spirit descended upon him in the Jordan and < there came* > a 
voice, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” 42 

8.1 And so, as they go through their refutations of the Gospel account, 
certain other Greek philosophers — I mean Porphyry, Celsus, 43 and that 
dreadful, deceitful serpent of Jewish extraction, Philosabbatius — accuse 
the holy apostles, though they [themselves] are natural and carnal, make 
war by fleshly means and cannot please God, and have not understood 
< the things which have been said > by the Spirit. 

8.2 Tripping over the words of the truth because of the blindness of 
their ignorance, each < of them > lit upon this point and said, “How can 
the day of his birth in Bethlehem have a circumcision eight days after it, 
and forty days later the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the things Simeon 
and Anna did for him, (3) when an angel appeared to him the night he 
was born, after the arrival of the magi who came to worship him, and who 
opened their bags and offered him gifts? As it says, ‘An angel appeared to 
him saying, Arise, take thy wife and the young child and go unto Egypt, 
for Herod seeketh the young child’s life.’ 44 (4) Now then, if he was taken 
to Egypt the very night he was born and was there until Herod died, how 
can he stay [in Bethlehem] for eight days and be circumcised? Or how can 
Luke < fail to* > be caught in a lie when he tells us that Jesus was brought 
to Jerusalem after* < forty days* >?” — so they say in blasphemy against 
their own heads, because he says, “On the fortieth day they brought him 
to Jerusalem and < returned > to Nazareth from there.” 45 

9,1 And the ignoramuses do not know the power of the Holy Spirit; to 
each evangelist it was given to describe the true events of each time and 
season. And Matthew reported only Christ’s generation by the Holy Spirit 
and conception without a man’s seed, but said nothing about circumci- 
sion, or the two years — any of the things that happened to him after his 
birth. (2) Instead, as the true word of God bears witness, he describes 
the coming of the magi. For Herod asked the magi for the time, and 
demanded the exact time of the star’s appearance, and Matthew gave the 

42 Cf. Mark 1:10-11. 

43 See Orig. Cels. 1.40; 48; 91.5-7. Origen mentions the seeming discrepancy between 
Matthew and Luke at In Joh. 10.3. 

44 Matt 2:13. 

45 Cf. Luke 2:22; 39. 



magi’s answer, that it was no more than two years before. Thus this period 
of time is not the one Luke deals with. 

9,3 Luke, however, describes the events before < the > two years — 
whereas Matthew spoke of Christ’s birth and then skipped to the time two 
years later and indicated what happened after < the > two years. (4) And 
so, when Herod deliberated after the magi’s departure by another route, 
he assumed that < the > new-born child himself would be found among 
all the other children and killed along with them. (5) For he ordered the 
killing of all the children in the vicinity of Bethlehem who had been two 
years old or less on the very day the magi came to him. Who, then, can 
fail to realize that the child who had been born was two years old when 
the magi came? 

g,6 Indeed, [Luke’s] account itself makes the facts clear in their entirety. 
For Luke says that the child was swaddled as soon as he was born, and 
lay in a manger and cave because there was no room in the inn. (7) For 
a census was then in progress, and the people who had been scattered at 
the time of the wars in the Maccabees’ time were dispersed all over the 
world, and very few had continued to live in Bethlehem. And thus Beth- 
lehem is called the city of David in one copy of the Evangelists, while in 
another it calls it a village, because it had come to occupy a small area. 
(8) But when the emperor Augustus’ decree was issued, and those who 
had been dispersed had to go to Bethlehem for enrollment because of 
their family origins, the influx of the multitudes filled the place, and 
because of the crowding there was no room in the inn. 

g,9 But then, after the census, everyone went back to wherever they 
lived and room was made in Bethlehem, (ro) Now when < the > first year 
was over and the second year had passed, Christ’s parents came from Naza- 
reth to Bethlehem as though to the original gathering — as a sort of memo- 
rial because of what had happened there, (rr) Thus the arrival of the magi 
occurred on this occasion, and probably not during Mary’s and Joseph’s 
visit at the time of the census which Luke mentions. For the magi did not 
find Mary in the cavern where she gave birth but, as the Gospel says, the 
star led them to the place where the young child was. (r2) And they entered 
the house and found the baby with Mary — no longer in a manger, no longer 
in a cave, but in a house — showing the exact truth and the two-year inter- 
val, that is, from Christ’s birth until the arrival of the magi. 

g,r3 And the angel appeared that night, two years after the birth, and 
said to take the mother and child to Egypt. Thus Joseph did not go back 
again to Nazareth but escaped to Egypt with the child and his mother, 



and spent another two years there. And so, after Herod’s death, the angel 
< appeared* > again < and* > sent them back to Judaea. 

10.1 The Lord was born in the thirty-third year of Herod, the magi 
came in the thirty-fifth, and in the thirty-seventh year Herod died and 
his son Archelaus inherited the throne and reigned for nine years, as I 
have already said in other places. 46 (2) When Joseph heard of Archelaus 
he returned and went to Nazareth to make his home, and from there, in 
turn, went each year to Jerusalem. 

10.3 Do you see the precision there is in the sacred Gospels about every 
event? But because the ignorant have blinded their own minds and do 
not know the intent of each saying, they simply shout and rave against 
the holy < evangelists >, saying nothing truthful but depriving themselves 
of life. 

10.4 And then, after the first part of his narrative, Luke tells in turn how 
Christ went to Jerusalem in his twelfth year, thus leaving no opportunity 
for those who think, as Cerinthus, Ebion and the rest supposed, that Christ 
simply appeared in the world as a grown man and came to the Jordan to 
John. (5) For the serpent is a dreadful one, crawls a crooked course, and 
does not stand by one opinion; some suppose that Christ was engendered 
by sexual congress and a man’s seed, but others, that he simply appeared 
as a [grown] man. 

10,6 And this is why the holy evangelists write with precision, describ- 
ing everything in exact detail. As though raising his mind from earth to 
the heavens, Luke expressly said, “And Jesus began to be about thirty years 
of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph.” 47 (7) Supposition is not 
fact; Joseph was in the position of a father to Jesus because this pleased 
God, but since he had no relations with Mary he was not his father. 
(8) He was simply called her husband because he was espoused to her 
as an old man of about eighty, with six sons (sic!) 48 by his actual first 
wife. But he was given this charge, as I have explained more precisely 
elsewhere. How could he be Christ’s father when he had no conjugal rela- 
tions? This is not possible. 

11.1 But you will ask me, if he did not have her, why was he called her 
husband? Whoever doubts this does not know the Law’s provision that 
once a woman is designated a man’s wife, she is called the wife of the man 

46 E.g., at De Incarnatione 2.1-3. 

47 Luke 3:23. 

48 Anc. 60,1-3; Pan 30,29,8; 11; 78,7-9. But Epiphanius regularly gives Joseph four sons 
and two daughters, cf. Anc. 60,1; Pan. 78,7,6. 



so designated, even though she is a virgin and still in her father’s house. 
And thus the holy angel said, “Fear not to take unto thee thy wife .” 49 

11.2 And lest it be thought that < there is > some error in the Gospels — 
for the mystery is awesome and beyond human telling, and only to the 
Holy Spirit’s children is the statement of it plain and clear — (3) < he 
says >, “He was about thirty years old, supposedly the son of Joseph, the 
son of Eli, the son of Matthan,” 50 and traces his ancestry to Abraham, 
where Matthew began. But he goes past Noah and comes to Adam, to 
indicate the first man, who was sought for by the One who came from 
his clay — that is, the One who came from the holy Virgin Mary. (4) (For 
Christ has come for that first man, and for those of his descendants who 
desire to inherit eternal life.) 

And he goes past Adam and says, “Son of God.” 51 (5) From this, at length, 
it was perfectly plain that he was the Son of God, but that he had come in 
the flesh as Adam’s lineal descendant. But once more the misguided did 
not see the light; in their self-deceit, < and their preference of falsehood* > 
to truth, they spoke against what [Luke] said. (6) “Here is a third Gospel, 
Luke’s,” they said — (for Luke was given this commission. He too was one 
of the seventy-two who had been scattered because of the Savior’s say- 
ing. But he was brought back to the Lord by St. Paul and told to issue his 
Gospel. And he preached in Dalmatia, Gaul, Italy and Macedonia first, but 
originally in Gaul, as Paul says of certain of his followers in his epistles, 
“Crescens is in Gaul.” 52 It does not say, “in Galatia,” as some mistakenly 
believe, but “in Gaul.”) 

12,1 But to get to the point. Although Luke had traced Christ’s pedi- 
gree from its end to its beginning and reached the point where, to turn 
the misguided from their error, he hinted at the divine Word’s advent 
and simultaneous union with his human nature, they did not understand. 
(2) Later, therefore, though from caution and humility he had declined 
to be an evangelist, the Holy Spirit compelled John to issue the Gospel in 
his old age when he was past ninety, after his return from Patmos under 
Claudius Caesar, and several years of his residence in Asia. 

12.3 And John did not need to speak in detail of the [Savior’s] advent; 
that had already been confirmed. But, as though he were following behind 
people and saw them in front of him choosing very rough, circuitous, 

49 Matt 1:20. 

50 Luke 3:23-24. 

51 Luke 3:38. 

52 2 Tim 4:19. 



thorny paths, John was concerned to recall them to the straight way, and 
took care to call out to them for their protection, “Why are you going 
wrong? Which turn are you taking? Where are you wandering off to, 
Cerinthus, Ebion and the rest? It is not as you suppose. 

12,4 “Sure, plainly Christ was conceived in the flesh; look, I confess 
myself that the Word was made flesh. But don’t suppose that he was him- 
self only from the time when he was made flesh. He doesn’t exist from 
Mary’s time only, as each of us exists from the time of our conception, 
but before his conception is not there. (5) The holy divine Word, the Son 
of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, isn’t just from Mary’s time, or just from 
Joseph’s time, or Eli’s, Levi’s, Zerubbabel’s, Shealtiel’s, Nathan’s, David’s, 
Jacob’s or Isaac’s. And not just from the time of Abraham, Noah or Adam, 
or the fifth day of creation, the fourth, the third, the second, or the cre- 
ation of heaven and earth or the beginning of the universe. 

12,6 "No, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God. All things were made by him, and without him 
was not anything made that was made,’ 53 and so on. (7) And then, ‘There 
was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for 
a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might 
believe. He was not the light, but was sent to bear witness of the light. The 
true light, that lighteneth every man, was coming into the world. He was 
in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him 
not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many 
as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, who 
were born not of blood and flesh, but of God. (8) And the Word was made 
flesh,’ he said, ‘and dwelt among us. John bare witness of him and cried 
saying, ‘This is he of who I spake unto you,’ and, ‘Of his fullness we have 
all received.’ 54 And he said, ‘I am not the Christ, but the voice of one cry- 
ing in the wilderness.’” 55 

13,1 And when he is describing all this he says, “These things were done 
in Bethabara” — “Bethany” in other copies — “beyond Jordan.” 56 (2) And 
after this he states that John’s disciples asked Jesus, “Rabbi, where dwell- 
est thou? And he said, Come and see. And they went, and remained with 
him that day.” 57 (3) And the next day “It was about the tenth hour; one of 

53 John 1:1-2. 

54 John 1:6-16. 

55 John 1:20; 23. 

56 John 1:28. Origen reads “Bethabara” at In Joh. 6.40. 

57 John 1:38-39. 



the two which had followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He 
first hndeth his own brother Simon and saith unto him, We have found 
Messiah, which is, being interpreted, Christ. He brought him to Jesus. 
Jesus looking on him saith, Thou art Simon the son of Jonah; thou shalt 
be called Cephas, which is by interpretation Peter. 

r3,4 “On the morrow he would go forth into Galilee and hndeth Philip, 
and Jesus saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city 
of Andrew and Peter. Philip hndeth Nathanael and saith unto him, We 
have found him of whom Moses in the Law, and the prophets did write, 
Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can 
there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said unto him, Come 
and see. (5) Jesus seeing Nathanael come unto him saith of him, Behold an 
Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. Nathanael saith unto him, Whence 
knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip 
called thee, when thou wast under the hg tree, I saw thee. Nathanael 
answered him and said, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the king 
of Israel. (6) Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, 
I saw thee under the hg tree, believest thou? Verily, verily I say unto you, 
Ye shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descend- 
ing upon the Son of Man. (7) And the third day there was a marriage in 
Cana of Galilee,” 58 and so on. 

All this will show that he came back to the Jordan after the forty days 
of the temptation, his return from the temptation itself, and his start for 
Nazareth and Galilee, as the other three evangelists have said. (8) This 
will also be shown by the words of John [the Baptist], “Behold the Lamb 
of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” 59 And on another day, 
as he saw him on his way, he said, “This is he of whom I said unto you, 
He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for he was before me.” 60 
“And John bore witness,” it says, “I saw the Spirit in the form of a dove 
descending and coming upon him.” 61 

r3,g “Bore witness” and “This is he of whom I said unto you,” suggest 
that John is speaking of two different times already past, to show that this 
is not the same as the time of the baptism, but a different one. (ro) For 
Jesus did not go straight to John from the temptation, but went to Galilee 
first and then from Galilee to the Jordan, making this < the second time 

58 John 1:39-2:1. 

59 John 1:29. 

60 John 1:30. 

61 Cf. John 1:32. 



he came* > to John. And so John says, “This was he of whom I said unto 
you;” and the Gospel goes on to say, “And John bore witness, I saw” — as 
though the thing had already taken place some time before. 

14.1 The original call of Peter and Andrew is shown after this. For 
Andrew went to visit Jesus — one of the two who followed him, who were 
John’s disciples but still lived in Galilee and now and then spent time with 
John. (2) And just after Andrew had stayed with him that day — it was 
about the sixth hour — he happened to meet his brother Simon that very 
same day, and said the words I have already mentioned, “We have found 
the Messiah.” And he brought him to the Lord and so on, as the sequel — 
that Jesus told him, “Thou shalt be called Cephas” — shows. 

14,3 “And the day following,” it says, “Jesus would go forth into Galilee, 
and hndeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of 
Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.” 62 (4) And you see that this leads 
me to suppose — of the two disciples of John who had followed Jesus 63 he 
gave only the name of the one, Andrew, but did not give the name of the 
other. (5) This makes me think that, because they came from the same 
place, lived together, had the same trade and worked together, this dis- 
ciple whose name he did not give was either John or James, < but > one of 
the sons of Zebedee. (6) For they should have been called first and then 
Philip, according to the order which is given in the Gospels: Peter first, 
then Andrew, then James, then John, and Philip after these. But never 
mind this now; there is a great deal of followup to this matter. 

15.1 But it is time to return to the subject < and point out* > that, as it is 
plain to see, just as they < continued* > to practice their trade and attend 
to their discipleship while they were disciples of John, so, after spending 
their first day with Jesus, they went back the next day and fished, as the 
wording of the other Gospels indicates. (2) For after Jesus left on the fol- 
lowing day, the sequel [in John] says at once, "On the third day there was 
a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And 
Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.” 64 (3) But from both 
these precise statements and the subject of them, we are given to under- 
stand that Jesus had also brought other disciples who [unlike Peter and 
the others] had remained with him — perhaps Nathanael and Philip, and 
some others. Andrew and the rest had left, but those who had remained 
with him were also invited to the wedding. 

62 John 1:43-44. 

63 I.e., at John 1:35. 

64 John 2:1-2. 



15,4 And after performing this first miracle he went down to Caper- 
naum and made his home there. And then he began to perform other 
miracles there — when he healed the man’s withered hand, and Peter’s 
mother-in-law as well. (5) (Peter was from Bethsaida but had married a 
woman from Capernaum, for the two places are not far apart. Jesus cured 
Peter’s mother-in-law of fever and, because she was cured, she waited on 
them, so that the sequence of events is < plain* >.) 

15.6 And after this he returned to Nazareth where he had been brought 
up. He then read the roll of the prophet Isaiah, and afterwards anticipated 
them himself and said, “Ye will surely say unto me this parable, Physician, 
heal thyself. What signs we have heard have been done in Capernaum, do 
also here in thy country.” 65 And do you see the truthfulness of what fol- 
lows? “And he did nothing 66 because of their unbelief.” 67 

15.7 From there he went to Capernaum and settled there once more. 
And going to the sea, as Matthew says, he saw Simon Peter and his brother 
Andrew casting their nets — and, once again, James and John the sons of 
Zebedee. And he called them for last time, and they finally threw their 
nets away and followed him. 

15.8 But Luke also indicates the certainty of the fact that they finally 
followed him for good without postponing their call any more. For he 
says, “When he was come unto the lake Gennesareth he saw Simon Peter 
and Andrew mending their nets, and he entered into the ship which was 
Simon Peter’s and Andrew’s” — but this shows that they allowed this from 
habit since he was already acquainted with them — and he boarded it and 
sat down, (g) When he told Peter, after his teaching, “Launch out into the 
deep and let down your nets,” 68 and they said, “Master” 69 — these men 
who had previously heard John say, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh 
away the sin of the world” 70 and had spent one day with him were already 
calling Jesus “Master” because of John’s testimony. (10) And they went out 
for their second catch, the later one, when they were amazed at the num- 
ber of the fish, and Peter said, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O 
Lord.” 71 (For perhaps, indeed, he was penitent because of his having been 
called before and returning to his fish and the whole business of fishing.) 

65 Cf. Luke 4:23. 

66 MSS and Delahaye ouSev, Holl ouSev <cry)[iEiov>. 

67 Cf. Matt 13:58; Mark 6:5. 

68 Cf. Luke 5:1-4. 

69 Luke 5:4-5. 

70 John 1:29. 

71 Luke 5:8. 



(11) But to hearten him Jesus said, “Fear not”; he had not been rejected but 
could still lay claim to his call. For Jesus said, “From henceforth thou shalt 
be a fisher of men” 72 when they motioned their partners in the other boat 
to come and help with the catch. (12) For as it says, they were Simon’s 
partners; I have mentioned this already because of the two who had fol- 
lowed Jesus < and > heard John say, < “Behold the Lamb of God.” > 73 One 
of these two was Andrew, < as > I said, and I have a very good notion that 
the other, in turn, might have been one of the sons of Zebedee, because 
they were co-workers, in the same business, and partners. 

15,13 And then, as it says, after all this the four left their boats and sim- 
ply threw everything down and followed him, as Luke testifies. (14) And 
thus it is fully demonstrated that there is no obscurity or contradiction in 
the holy Gospels or between the evangelists, but that everything is plain. 
(15) There are, however, differences of time. For from this time forward, 
after Peter, John and the others had finally joined and followed him, he 
went teaching throughout Galilee and Judaea. And then, as the Gospel 
became widespread, he performed the rest of the miracles. Thus the over- 
all order of events is this: 

16,1 First, he was baptized on the twelfth of the Egyptian month Athyr, 
the sixth before the Ides of November of the Roman calendar. 74 (In other 
words, he was baptized a full sixty days before the Epiphany, which is the 
day of his birth in the flesh, (2) as the Gospel according to Luke testifies, 
“Jesus began to be about thirty years old, being, as was supposed, the son 
of Joseph.” 75 Actually, he was twenty-nine years and ten months old — 
thirty years old but not quite — when he came for his baptism. This is 
why it says, “began to be about thirty years old.” Then he was sent into 
the wilderness. 

16,3 Those forty days of the temptation appear next, and the slightly 
more than two weeks — [two weeks] and two days — which he spent after 
his return from the temptation to Galilee, that is, to Nazareth and its vicin- 
ity. (4) And one day when he went to John — the day John said, “Behold 
the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” 76 And the 
next day < when > "John, again, stood, and two of his disciples, and look- 

72 Luke 5:10. 

73 John 1:29. 

74 Holl 0 eoriv xara Pw^aiouc;, MSS to; E<pv]fXEv. 

75 Luke 3:23. 

76 John 1:29. 



ing upon Jesus as he walked, said, Behold the Christ, the Lamb of God.” 77 
Then it says, "The two disciples heard him and followed Jesus.” 78 

16,5 As I said, this was the eighteenth day after the temptation, but 
the first after [Jesus’ encounter with] John, when Andrew and the oth- 
ers followed Jesus and stayed with him that day — it was about the tenth 
hour — and when Andrew found his brother Simon and brought him to 
Jesus. (6) Then the Gospel says, “On the morrow the Lord would go forth 
into Galilee, and hndeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.” 79 As the 
sequence of the Gospel indicates, this was the nineteenth day after the 
temptation, < and it includes* > the call of Philip and Nathanael. 

16,7 And then, it says, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee on 
the third day after the two days I have mentioned which followed [the 
encounter with] John. Now if the twenty days are added to the forty days 
of the temptation, this makes two months. And when these are combined 
with the ten months they make a year, that is to say, a full thirty years 
from the birth of the Lord. (8) And we find that Christ performed his first 
miracle, of the change of the water to wine, at the end of his thirtieth year, 
as you must realize if you follow the Gospel passages closely. (9) And then, 
after this first miracle, he performed the other miracles and presented 
his teaching, in token of his wondrous, inexpressible lovingkindness to 
all, and the wonderworking in the Gospels — so 1 have often been obliged 
to say because of the ignorance of the misguided people who venture to 
contradict the Gospels’ accurate account, as it is set forth in order by the 
Holy Spirit. 

17,1 Such an amount of accurate demonstration will leave no room for 
those who are their own opponents — I won’t say, the truth’s, because they 
can’t be. (2) For it is plain from the start that everything else follows the 
baptism. Thus it is shown that the Lord underwent the forty day tempta- 
tion in the wilderness after the day of the baptism, even though the Holy 
Spirit saw no need to make this known through John; it had already been 
indicated by the three evangelists. (3) And again, the other evangelists 
were not concerned with the other matters, since each is assisted by each. 
For when the truth is gathered from all the evangelists it is shown to be 
one, and in no conflict with itself. 

77 Cf. John 1:35-36. 

78 John 1:37. 

79 John 1:43. 



17,4 For from that point — directly after the temptation, as I said, — he 
went from the wilderness to Nazareth and stayed there, no disciple being 
with him as yet. And from there he went down to John, and at once Peter 
was called through Andrew, and Nathanael through Philip. (5) But even 
though he sees that Andrew met Jesus first and then Peter was called, and 
through Andrew at that, no one need waste his time on doubts about this 
as well, and begin to be distressed about it. (6) The meeting with Andrew 
came first because Andrew was younger in years than Peter. But later on, 
in turn, at their final renunciation, this was at Peter’s instance. For he 
was his brother’s mentor; and the Lord knew this, for he is God, under- 
stands the inclinations of hearts, knows who is worthy to be ranked first, 
and chose Peter for the head of his disciples, as has been plainly shown 

17,7 Afterwards they came and stayed with him the first day, as 1 said, 
they traveled on the second, and on the third day came the first miracle 
while some disciples were with him — plainly not Andrew, Peter, James or 
John, but Nathanael and Philip, and some others. (8) And next, after going 
to Capernaum and returning to Nazareth, and going back to Capernaum 
from there and working part of the miracles, he returned to Nazareth once 
more and read the roll of the prophet Isaiah, where it says, “The Spirit 
of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach 
the Gospel to the poor,” 80 and so on. This took place some days after the 

17, g And after John’s arrest he returned to Capernaum and at last made 
that his residence; and the final call of Peter, John and their brothers came 
at this time, when Jesus came [to them] beside the lake of Gennesareth. 
And thus the entire sequence of events [in the Gospels] is harmonized 
and contains no contradictions; the whole Gospel account is completely 
clear and has been given truthfully. 

17,10 Then what has gotten into these people < who > have deceived 
their own minds and spewed this sect out on the world, that they reject 
the Gospel according to John? 1 was right to call their sect “Dumb”; they 
will not accept the divine Word who came from on high, the Word 
preached by John. (11) Not understanding the meaning of the Gospels they 
say, “Why have the other evangelists said that Jesus fled to Egypt from 
Herod, came back after his flight and remained at Nazareth, and then, 
after receiving the baptism, went into the wilderness, and returned after 

80 Luke 4:18. 



that, and after his return began to preach? (18,1) But the Gospel [issued] 
in John’s name lies,” they say. “After ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt 
among us’ 81 and a few other things, it says at once that there was a wed- 
ding in Cana of Galilee.” 

18,2 With their deliberate foolishness these people have not remem- 
bered that John < himself >, after saying that the Word was made flesh and 
dwelt among us — or in other words, became man — said that Jesus went 
to John the Baptist at the Jordan and was baptized by him. (3) < For> 
John himself testifies that John the Baptist said, ‘This is he of whom I 
said unto you,” 82 “I saw the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove 
and remaining on him,” 83 and, “This is he that taketh away the sin of the 
world.” 84 

18,4 You see that none of this is said from forgetfulness; John has omit- 
ted the matters Matthew dealt with. There was no more need for these 
things, but there was need for the full explanation, in reply to those who 
believed that Jesus was called Christ and Son of God [only] from the 
time of Mary, and [those who say that] he was originally a mere man but 
received the title, “Son of God,” as a promotion in rank. (5) Thus in writ- 
ing his account of Christ’s coming from above, John is concerned with 
essentials — it is all important and essential, but the heavenly things are 
more so. (6) But these people say that the Gospel according to John is non- 
canonical because it did not mention these events — I mean the events of 
the forty-day temptation — and they do not see fit to accept it, since they 
are misguided about everything, and mentally blind. 

19,1 The blessed John came fourth in the succession of evangelists. With 
his brother James he was the first after Peter and Andrew in the order of 
calling, but he was the last to issue a Gospel. He was not concerned to give 
information which had been adequately set down before him, but pre- 
ferred what had not been said to what had been, and discoursed < along 
those lines >. (2) For Matthew begins with Abraham, but resumes his nar- 
rative after its beginning, and two [undescribed] years after Christ’s birth. 
Mark, however, begins at the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, but gives 
< no > account of < the > interval after the beginning. And Luke added 
a beginning before the beginning, his treatment of Elizabeth and Mary 
before < they > conceived. 

81 John 1:14. 

82 John 1:30. 

83 Cf. John 1:32. 

84 Cf. John 1:29. 



19.3 John, however, who was earlier in his calling than they but became 
an evangelist later, confirms the events before the incarnation. For most 
of what he said was spiritual, since the fleshly things had already been 
confirmed. (4) He thus gives a spiritual account 85 of the Gift which came 
down to us from the Father who has no beginning, < and > of the Father’s 
good pleasure took flesh in the holy Virgin’s womb. (5) And he omitted 
nothing essential; but by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration he < introduced > 
the divine Word who was before all ages, begotten of the Father without 
beginning and not in time, and told of his coming in the flesh for our 
sakes. In this way we may obtain full and precise knowledge, fleshly and 
divine, from four evangelists. 

20,1 For when all the events of the baptism and temptation were over 
and then, as 1 have often said, Jesus had gone to spend a few days’ < time > 
in Nazareth and nearby, and near Capernaum — < and > after he had met 
John at the Jordan < and returned to Galilee* >, taking a few disciples with 
him on the next day [after his meeting with John] — Jesus performed this 
first miracle in Cana, the third day after [he had met] John but the twen- 
tieth after his return from the temptation, and < began > his preaching. 
(2) For John does not say that Christ had gone to a wedding before the 
temptation, or that he had worked any of his miracles < before > he started 
preaching — except, perhaps, the ones he is said to have performed in play 
as a child. (3) (For he ought to have childhood miracles too, to deprive the 
other sects of an excuse for saying that “< the > Christ,” meaning the dove, 
came to him after [his baptism in] the Jordan. 86 They say this because of 
the sum of the letters alpha and omega, which is [the same as the sum 
of the letters of] “dove,” since the Savior said, “1 am the Alpha and 1 am 
the Omega.”) 87 

20.4 This is also why Luke represents Jesus, in his twelfth year, as hav- 
ing asked Mary, “Wist ye not that 1 must be in my Father’s house?” 88 when 
she came looking for him, and he was engaged in dispute with the doctors 
at Jerusalem. (5) This refutes the argument of those who claim that he 
became the Son of God at the time of his baptism, when the dove, which 
they say is the Christ, came to him. And it makes it clear that the divine 
Word came from above and was made flesh of Mary at his coming, and 

85 Clement of Alexandria says that John wrote a “spiritual” Gospel because the fleshly 
matters had already been reported, Eus. H. E. 6.14.7. 

86 Iren. Haer. 1.14.6. 

87 Rev 1:8. 

88 Luke 2:49. 



that the Spirit descended upon him in the Jordan, (6) to identify the One 
of whom the Father testified, “This is my Son, the Beloved, hear ye him.” 89 
ft was also a sign, to those who would be enlightened in him, that they 
would be vouchsafed < the > gift of the Holy Spirit in baptism, and, by the 
grace he has given, the remission of their sins. 

21,1 And then he began to work all his miracles, during the time of his 
preaching — < for > it says, “This first miracle did Jesus in Cana of Galilee.” 90 
(2) As I have said many times, this was not before the baptism. It was after 
his return from the temptation, the third day after the two days John’s two 
disciples spent with him, the disciples who had heard [John] speak and 
followed Jesus. (3) Thus, immediately after the two days they spent with 
him, the Gospel adds, “And he went forth into Galilee and hndeth Philip, 
and saith unto him, Follow me.” 91 

21,4 Then immediately, on the third day there was a wedding in Cana 
of Galilee. Since there was a wedding just after he had left Judaea, he was 
rightly invited in its honor, as a blessing on marriage. (5) And it says, “On 
the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of 
Jesus was there, and both Jesus was called, and his disciples who were 
with him, to the marriage. (6) And when they wanted wine,” it says, 
“The mother of Jesus saith, They have no wine. And Jesus saith unto her, 
Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.” 92 

21,7 < This took place* > after he came from the wilderness following 
the temptation, and after he had been taken to Jerusalem and had stood 
on the pinnacle of the temple, and had been borne from Jerusalem to a 
very high mountain which many say is Mt. Tabor, or Itarbion in transla- 
tion; this mountain is in Galilee. (8) For Matthew, who said, “Jesus, hear- 
ing that John was cast into prison, departed into Galilee,” 93 assumed this 
order of events. (9) Now Luke, who also accurately described the depar- 
ture from the mountain and spoke first of the mountain and the kingdoms 
the devil showed the Lord, mentions the pinnacle and Jerusalem later, 
and how Jesus returned to Galilee and Nazareth. And Matthew says in 
agreement with him, “Leaving Nazareth he went unto Capernaum.” 94 

89 Matt 17:5. 

90 John 2:11. 

91 John 1:43. 

92 John 2:1-4. 

93 Cf. Matt 4:12. 

94 Matt 4:13. 



21,10 For he went to Nazareth and from there to the Jordan to visit 
John, and after crossing the Jordan betook himself to his boyhood home, 
to his mother at Nazareth, and stayed there (i.e., at the Jordan) for two 
days, at which time Andrew and the others also stayed with him. Then, 
for the salvation of mankind, he was moved to begin preaching; (n) and 
because he had come [there] after an interval he stayed two days, accom- 
panied by the disciples he had taken by then. And dismissing the two who 
had followed him he went to Galilee at once, to preach and work the first 
miracle, the one he performed at the wedding. 

21,12 For see how the wording assures < us > of this, when John the 
Baptist gives his testimony, and says as of an event already in the past, 
“And I knew him not, but he who sent me to baptize said, unto me, Upon 
whom thou seest the Spirit descending in the form of a dove, the same is 
he.” 95 (13) For when the Father sent John to baptize he granted him this 
sign, so that, when he saw it, he would recognize the Savior and Benefac- 
tor of our souls, who had been sent to the world from on high. 

21,14 Sectarians like these are confounded by the truth and accuracy 
of the sacred scriptures, especially by the agreement of the four Gospels. 
No one in his right mind would reject the fully accurate account the Holy 
Spirit has given through the sacred Gospels. (15) For even though they 
say that the evangelists Matthew, Mark and Luke reported that the Savior 
was brought to the wilderness after his baptism, and that he spent forty 
days in temptation, and after the temptation heard of John’s imprison- 
ment and went to live at Capernaum by the sea — (16) but [then go on to 
say] that John is lying because he did not speak of this but straight off of 
the Savior’s visit to John [the Baptist] and all the other things John says 
he did 96 — [even if this is their argument], their entire ignorance of the 
Gospels’ exact words will be evident. (17) John the Evangelist indicates 
that before the arrest of John the Baptist the Lord went to him < again* > 
after the days of the temptation. If John had been imprisoned, how could 
the Savior still return to him at the Jordan? 

21,18 Nor do they realize that the other three evangelists give an accu- 
rate account of the time after John’s imprisonment by saying, “Jesus, 
hearing that John was cast into prison, departing from Nazareth dwelt in 
Capernaum which is on the seacoast.” 97 And you see that everything is 
said in truthful agreement by the four evangelists. 

95 John 1:33. 

96 MSS Xeyei; Holl’s <8iv)yeTT0ii> Xeycov appears unnecessary. 

97 Matt 4:14. 



21, ig For John is plainly < following > the [other evangelists’] order 
when he says in turn that, after the Savior had performed the first mira- 
cle, gone to Capernaum and performed certain miracles there, and gone 
back to Nazareth and read the scroll, then finally, when John the Baptist 
was imprisoned, he went and lived at Capernaum for “not many days.” 
(20) These are the “days” after the Epiphany, and after Christ’s journey to 
Capernaum and Nazareth, his pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover, 
and < his > return to John, where John was baptizing at Aenon < near > 
Salim. (21) For the Gospel says, “After this he went down to Capernaum, 
he and his mother and his brethren, and they remained there not many 
days .” 98 He was not yet telling us ofjesus’ final residence [at Capernaum], 
of which he said later < that> after John’s imprisonment he went to live at 
Capernaum by the sea. 

21,22 “And the Passover of the Jews was nigh,” as he says, “and Jesus 
went up to Jerusalem, and found the sellers of oxen, sheep and doves 
in the temple, and the changers of money sitting.” 99 (23) And after 
expelling these money-changers and dove-sellers and the rest and say- 
ing, “Take these things hence and make not my Father’s house an house 
of merchandise” — and after hearing their answer, “What sign showest 
thou us, seeing that thou doest these things?” and telling them, “Destroy 
this temple, and in three days 1 will raise it up” 100 — (it was at this time 
that Nicodemus came to him) — and after saying a great deal, John says, 
(24) “Jesus came, and his disciples, to Judaea, and there he tarried with 
them and baptized. And John also was < baptizing > in Aenon near 
to Salim, for there was much water there; for John was not yet cast into 
prison .” 101 

21,25 And after John has said a great deal — “He that hath the bride is 
the bridegroom,” 102 [and so on] — the Gospel then says, ‘When therefore 
Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized 
more disciples < than > John (though Jesus himself baptized not, but his 
disciples), he left Judaea and departed again into Galilee. (26) And he 
must needs pass through Samaria.” 103 This was the occasion when he sat 
by the well and talked with the Samaritan woman. And the Samaritan 
woman told the townsmen about him, and the Samaritans came to him 

98 John 2:12. 

99 John 2:14. 

100 John 2:16; 18-19. 

101 John 3:22-24. 

102 John 3:29. 

103 John 4:1-4. 



and begged him to stay with them, “and he stayed there two days, and 
many more believed because of his word.” 104 

21.27 “Now after the two days he came into Galilee. And there was a 
certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capernaum.” 105 This was when 
Jesus told him, “Go, thy son liveth,” 106 and he believed, and the boy was 
healed. And the Gospel says, “< This > is again the second miracle that 
Jesus did when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.” 107 

21.28 “After this there was a feast of the Jews” — I presume he is speak- 
ing of another feast of the Jews, Pentecost or Tabernacles — “and Jesus 
went up to Jerusalem.” 108 This was when he came to the Sheep Pool on 
the Sabbath, and healed the paralytic who had been ill for thirty-eight 
years. (2g) And after this, the acceptable year now being over, they began 
to persecute him, from the time when he healed the paralytic at the Sheep 
Pool on the Sabbath. John says in turn, The Jews persecuted Jesus the 
more, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but also said that God 
was his Father, making himself equal with God.” 109 (30) How can the sects 
which make the Son inferior to the Father escape condemnation? “Mak- 
ing himself equal with God,” says the Gospel. 

21,31 “After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is 
the Sea of Tiberias, and a great multitude followed him because they saw 
the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up 
into the mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the Passover, 
the feast of the Jews, was < nigh >.” 110 (32) And now, as the other Gospels 
say, when John had been imprisoned Jesus came and made his home in 
Capernaum by the sea, as we find that John himself says in agreement 
with the others. For as the Passover comes in the month of March or April, 
it is perfectly plain that the times at which Jesus came to John after the 
temptation were different times [than this]. 

22,1 Again, they also accuse the holy evangelist — or rather, they accuse 
the Gospel itself — because, they say, “John said that the Savior kept two 
Passovers over a two-year period, but the other evangelists describe one 
Passover.” (2) The boors do not even know that the Gospels not only 

104 Cf. John 4:39-41. 

105 John 4:46. 

106 John 4:50. 

107 John 4:54. 

108 John 5:1. 

109 John 5:18. 

110 John 6:1-4. 



acknowledge two Passovers as I have shown repeatedly, but that they 
speak of two earlier Passovers, and of that other Passover as well, on which 
the Savior suffered, — so that there are three Passovers, from the time of 
Christ’s baptism and first preaching, over three years, until the cross. 

22,3 For the Savior was born during the forty-second year of the Roman 
emperor Augustus — in the thirteenth consulship of the same Octavian 
Augustus and the consulship of Silanus, as the Roman consul lists indi- 
cate. (4) For these say as follows: “During their consulships,” I mean Octa- 
vian’s thirteenth and the consulship of Silanus, “Christ was born on the 
eighth before the Ides of January, thirteen days after the winter solstice 
and the increase of the light and the day.” 111 (5) Greeks, I mean the idola- 
ters, celebrate this day on the eighth before the Kalends of January, which 
Romans call Saturnalia, Egyptians Cronia, and Alexandrians, Cicellia. 
(6) For this division between signs of the zodiac, which is a solstice, 
comes on the eighth before the Kalends of January, and the day begins 
to lengthen because the light is receiving its increase. And it completes a 
period of thirteen days until the eighth before the Ides of January, the day 
of Christ’s birth, with a thirtieth of an hour added to each day. (7) The Syr- 
ian sage, Ephrem, testified to this calculation in his commentaries when 
he said, “Thus the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, his birth in the flesh 
or perfect incarnation which is called the Epiphany, was revealed after a 
space of thirteen days from the beginning of the increase of the light. For 
this too must needs be a type of the number of our Lord Jesus Christ and 
his twelve disciples, since, [added to the disciples], he made up <the> 
number of the thirteen days of the light’s increase.” 112 

22.8 And how many other things have been done and are being done 
because of, and in testimony to this calculation, I mean of Christ’s birth? 
Indeed, those who guilefully preside over the cult of idols are obliged to 
confess a part of the truth, and in many places deceitfully celebrate a 
very great festival on the very night of the Epiphany, to deceive the idola- 
ters who believe them into hoping 113 in the imposture and not seeking 
the truth. 

22.9 First, at Alexandria, in the Coreum, as they call it; it is a very large 
temple, the shrine of Core. They stay up all night singing hymns to the 

111 Consularia Constantia, MHG Auct. Antiq. IX, 218. Here, however, the date given is 
the eighth before the Kalends of January, i.e., December 25. 

112 The passage is not extant. 

113 Achelis: eXthototes. We prefer MSS: eXmawrap, in agreement with siScoXoXctTpac;. 



idol with a flute accompaniment. And when they have concluded their 
nightlong vigil torchbearers descend into an underground shrine after 
cockcrow (ro) and bring up a wooden image which is seated naked < on > 
a litter, ft has a sign of the cross inlaid with gold on its forehead, two other 
such signs, [one] on each hand, and two other signs, [one] actually [on 
each of] its two knees — altogether five signs with a gold impress. And 
they carry the image itself seven times round the innermost shrine with 
flutes, tambourines and hymns, hold a feast, and take it back down to its 
place underground. And when you ask them what this mystery means 
they reply that today at this hour Core — that is, the virgin — gave birth 
to Aeon. 

22, n This is also done in the same way in the city of Petra, in the temple 
of the idol there. (Petra is the capital city of Arabia, the scriptural Edom.) 
They praise the virgin with hymns in the Arab language calling her, in 
Arabic, Chaamu — that is, Core, or virgin. And the child who is born of her 
they call Dusares, that is, “the Lord’s only-begotten.” And this is also done 
that night in the city of Elusa, as it is there in Petra, and in Alexandria. 

22, r2 I have been obliged to prove this with many examples because 
of those who do not believe that “The Epiphany” is a good name for the 
fleshly birth of the Savior, who was born at the eighth hour and mani- 
fested, by the angels’ testimony, to the shepherds and the world — but he 
was manifested to Mary and Joseph as well. (r3) And the star was mani- 
fested to the magi in the east at that hour, two years before their arrival 
at Jerusalem and Bethlehem, when Herod asked the magi themselves the 
precise time of the star’s manifestation, and they told him it was no more 
than two years before. And this very word gave the Epiphany its name, 
from Herod’s saying, “the manifestation of the star.” (14) Thus when the 
magi said, “Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his 
star in the east and are come to worship him,” 114 Herod saw that he had 
not been inquiring about the name of a merely human king. 

2245 For he mulled the matter over and was puzzled because many 
kings had been born in Jerusalem — Saul of the tribe of Benjamin first, 
David of the tribe of Judah second, David’s son Solomon, Solomon’s son 
Rehoboam, and Rehoboam’s sons in succession — and no star had ever 
appeared at any of their births, and never, except this once, had magi 
arrived to come and worship the newborn king. And after giving this his 
consideration he attained to the knowledge of the truth as well, having 

114 Matt 2:2. 



understood that this was not the sign of a man, but of the Lord alone. 
(16) Thus, when he asked the scribes and the priests, “Where is the Christ 
born?” and heard their answer, "in Bethlehem of Judaea,” 115 he was no 
longer asking about an earthly king or a mere man, but about Christ. And 
he learned the place by asking it of them, but the time by asking it of the 

22,17 For the magi themselves reached Bethlehem, after a two year 
interval, on this very day of the Epiphany, and offered their gifts, the 
myrrh, the gold and the frankincense. For the beginnings of many of the 
signs of Christ’s manifestation came on this day of the Manifestation. 
(18) As I have said before and am obliged to say over and over, this was the 
day in the thirteenth consulship of Octavius Augustus and the consulship 
of Silanus [which fell] on the eighth before the Ides of January, thirteen 
days after the increase of the daylight. This lasts from the winter solstice, 
the eighth before the Kalends of January, until the actual day of Christ’s 
birth and Manifestation, because of the type I spoke of — the Savior him- 
self and his disciples, making thirteen. 

22,19 Thus the Savior was born in the forty-second year of the Roman 
emperor Augustus in the consulship I have mentioned, twenty-nine years 
after Augustus’ annexation of Judaea; Augustus had reigned for thirteen 
years before Judaea was finally annexed to Rome. (20) After Augustus’ 
accession there was an alliance between the Romans and the Jews for 
about four years of his reign, with the dispatch of an auxiliary force, the 
appointment of a governor, and the payment of partial tribute to the 
Romans. < And again, partial tribute was given to the Romans* > for about 
five years [more], until Judaea was surrendered to them completely and 
became [fully] tributary to them, (21) because the rulers descended from 
Judah had come to an end, and Herod had been made king — a gentile, 
though indeed a proselyte. And then Christ was born in Bethlehem of 
Judaea and began to preach, after the last of the anointed rulers (xp!c7toi) 
descended from Judah and Aaron had come to an end — (their line had 
continued until the anointed ruler Alexander, and Salina, or Alexandra.) 
This was the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophecy, “There shall not fail a ruler 
from Judah and a governor from his loins, till he come for who it is pre- 
pared, and he is the expectation of the nations” 116 — a reference to the 
birth of the Lord. 

115 Cf. Matt 2:4-5. 

116 Gen 49:10. 



22,22 All these things were accomplished beginning with Christ’s birth 
in Bethlehem, in the forty-second year of the whole reign of Augustus. 
Augustus’ forty-second year came after [the following]: The fifth year of 
the governorship of Herod’s father Antipater, when there was an alliance 
between the Romans and the Jews and the payment of partial tribute; 
Antipater’s governorship, from the sixth year of Augustus through his 
ninth year; Herod’s appointment in Augustus’ tenth year, and the payment 
of partial tribute until Augustus’ thirteenth, which was the fourth year of 
the reign of his appointee, Herod; (23) the period from Herod’s fourth 
year, which finally saw the complete surrender of Judaea, until Herod’s 
thirty-third year, when Augustus had reigned for forty-two < and >, as I 
said, all Judaea had been subdued. [This came] after it had been tributary 
to the Romans for twenty-nine years; after Herod’s father Antipater had 
been made governor; and after Herod had been made king of Judaea by 
Augustus in Augustus’ tenth year. 

22,24 i. These things (i.e., Christ’s birth and the fulfillment of Jacob’s 
prophecy) came about in the thirteenth consulship of Octavius Augustus 
and the consulship of Silanus, as 1 have often said. The consulships listed 
below succeeded that consulship in order, as follows. 117 [The consulships] of: 

2. Lentulus and Piso 

3. Lucius Caesar and Paulus 

4. Vindicius and Varus 

5. Lamius and Servilius Nonnius 

6. Magnus Pompeius and Valerius 

7. Lepidus and Aruncius 

8. Caesar and Capita 

9. Creticus and Nerva 

10. Camillus and Quintillian 

11. Camerus and Sabinus 

12. Dolabella and Silanus 

13. Lepidus and Taurus 

14. Flaccus and Silanus 

15. The two Sexti 

16. Pompeius Magnus and Apuleius 

17. Brutus and Flaccus 

117 Epiphanius’ list of consuls is in close agreement with the Christian list given in the 
Consularia Constantia and the Chronicon Paschale, Monumenta Historiae Germanica 
Auctores Antiqua IX, 218-220 and XI 197-199. 



18. Taurus and Libo 

19. Crassus and Rufus 

20. Tiberius Caesar for the second time, and Drusus Germanicus for 
the second time 

21. Silanus and Balbus 

22. Messala and Gratus 

23. Tiberius Caesar for the third time, and Drusus Germanicus for the 
third time 

24. Agrippa and Galba 

25. Pollio and Veterus 

26. Cethegus and Varus 

27. Agrippa for the second time, and Lentulus Galba 

28. Getulicus and Sabinus 

29. Crassus and Piso 

30. Silanus and Nerva 

23,1 And you see that this is a period of thirty years. I have done my 
best to give an accurate list of the successive consulships, so that those 
who go over it will see that there is no falsehood in the sacred doctrine of 
the truth, but that everything has been proclaimed with accuracy by the 
church. (2) For who can count the successive consulships, which cannot 
be wrong, and not despise those who believe that there is a discrepancy in 
the number of the years which is celebrated by the evangelists? 

23,3 This is also the downfall of the earlier Valentinian sect and certain 
others, with their fictitious record of the thirty aeons they thought they 
could compare with the years of the Savior’s life, supposedly making it 
possible for them to record the myth of their aeons and first principles. 
(4) For in fact, it was in the thirty-third year of his incarnation that the 
Only-begotten suffered for us — the divine Word from on high who was 
impassible, and yet < took > flesh < and > suffered for us to cancel our 
sentence of death. (5) For after that consulship which came, as I indi- 
cated, in Christ’s thirtieth year, there was another, called the consulship 
of Rufus and Rubellio. And then, at the beginning of the consulship after 
the consulship < of Rufus and > Rubellio — the one which later came to 
be called the consulship of Vinnicius and Longinus Cassius — the Savior 
accepted suffering on the thirteenth before the Kalends of April < in his 
thirty-third year, which was* > the eighteenth year of Tiberius Caesar. 
(6) And this confounds the deceit of all these sectarians. The accurate 
teaching is plainly that the Gospels contain not only two periods before a 
festival of the Passover, but even three. 



24,1 For Christ was born in the month of January, that is, on the eighth 
before the Ides of January — in the Roman calendar this is the evening of 
January fifth, at the beginning of January sixth. In the Egyptian calendar it 
is the eleventh of Tybi. In the Syrian or Greek it is the sixth of Audynaeus. 
In the Cypriote or Salaminian it is the fifth day of the fifth month. In the 
Paphian it is the fourteenth of July. In the Arabian it is the twenty-first 
of Aleom. < In the Macedonian it is the sixteenth of Apellaeus. > 118 In the 
Cappadocian it is the thirteenth of Atartes. In the Athenian it is the fifth 
of Maemacterium. And in the Hebrew calendar it is the fifth of Tebeth. 
(2) For in this case too the prophet’s oracle had to be fulfilled, “There came 
unto us the ark of the Lord” — but he means Christ’s perfect manhood — 
“on the fifth day of the fifth month.” 119 (3) This had to be fulfilled first by 
the Hebrew reckoning, by the following of which many of the gentiles, 
I mean the Romans, observe the fifth day in the evening preceding the 
sixth. But the Cypriotes keep the fifth of the month itself; and the native 
Egyptians, and the Salaminians, observe that month as the fifth, just as the 
Hebrews make it the fifth month from their New Year. 

24,4 Christ had lived through these twenty-nine full consulships, but in 
the thirtieth consulship, I mean < the consulship of Silanus and Nerva* >, 
he came to John in about the < eleventh > month, and was baptized 
in the river Jordan in the thirtieth year following his birth in the flesh, 

(5) on the sixth before the Ides of November. That is, he was baptized on 
the twelfth of the Egyptian month Athyr, the eighth of the Greek month 
of Dius, the sixth of third Choiak in the Salaminian, or Constantian cal- 
endar, the sixteenth of Apogonicus in the Paphian, the twenty-second of 
Angalthabaith in the Arabian, the sixteenth of Apellaeus in the Macedo- 
nian, the fifteenth of Aratates in the Cappadocian, the seventh of Metagit- 
nium in the Athenian, and the seventh of Marcheshvan in the Hebrew. 

(6) As I have often remarked, the holy Gospel according to Luke bears me 
out with some such words as, “Jesus began to be about thirty years old, 
being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph.” 120 

24,7 From this day, the twelfth of Athyr, he “preached the acceptable 
year of the Lord” as had been foretold in the prophet Isaiah: “The Spirit of 
the Lord is upon me, for the Lord hath anointed me to preach the Gospel 

118 Klostermann’s restoration, based on 24,5. 

119 This may be a faultily remembered version of Zech 7:3. 

120 Luke 3:23. 



to the poor. He hath sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery 
of sight to the blind, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the 
day of retribution.” 121 

25,1 For he indeed preached an acceptable year of the Lord, that is, a 
year without opposition. He preached for the first year after < the > thirti- 
eth year of his incarnation, and everyone accepted his preaching. Neither 
Jews nor gentiles nor Samaritans disputed it; all were glad to hear him. 
(2) In this year he went up to Jerusalem, after being baptized and passing 
the forty days of the temptation, and the twenty days prior to the first 
miracle, which I have spoken of, and the choosing of his disciples. (3) It is 
plain that, after returning to the Jordan from the temptation, and crossing 
the Sea of Tiberias and going to Nazareth, he went up to Jerusalem and, 
midway through the feast, cried out, “If anyone thirst, let him come to me 
and drink.” 122 And then he went to Nazareth, Judaea, Samaria and Tyre. 

25,4 And at the close of the first year he went up to Jerusalem again, 
and now they tried to arrest him during the feast and were afraid to; 
at this feast he said, "I go not up at this feast.” 123 (5) He was not lying, 
never fear! It says, “He set out midway through the festival and went up 
to Jerusalem, 124 and they said, Is not this he whom they sought to arrest? 
And lo, he speaketh boldly. Have the priests, then, learned that this is the 
Christ?” 125 (6) For because he was speaking mysteriously with his breth- 
ren, and in supernatural terms, they did not know what he meant. He 
was telling them that he would not go up to heaven at that feast, or go to 
the cross then to accomplish the work of the passion and the mystery of 
redemption, and rise from the dead and ascend to heaven. All these things 
he accomplished at his own discretion. 

25,7 And finally after this, at the close of the two year period which 
followed his baptism and his birthday, in November [for the former] 
and January [for the latter] — in the thirty-third year of his incarnation, 
after living through the two consulships I have mentioned, those of the 
two Gemini and of Rufus and Rubellio, (8) the impassible divine Word 
accomplished the mystery of his passion in the third consulship, in its 
third month, in March after January. He suffered in the flesh for us while 

121 Cf. Isa 61:1-2; Luke 4:18-19. 

122 John 7:14; 27. 

123 John 7:8. 

124 John 7:14. 

125 Cf. John 7:25-27. 



retaining his impassibility, as Peter says, “being put to death in the flesh, 
but quickened by the Spirit.” 126 

26,1 Jesus suffered on the thirteenth before the Kalends of April, the 
Jews meanwhile having skipped one evening, that is, at midnight on the 
fourteenth of the month. 127 (2) For the Jews came ahead of time and ate 
the Passover, as the Gospel says 128 and I have often remarked. They thus 
ate the Passover two days before its < proper* > eating; that is, they ate 
it in the evening on the third day of the week, a thing that ought to be 
done at evening on the fifth day. 129 For on that basis 130 the fourteenth of 
the month was the fifth day of the week, [when the Passover should have 
been eaten]. 

26,3 But Jesus was arrested late on that same third day, which was 
the nighttime of the eleventh of the month, the sixteenth before the 
Kalends of April. 131 The dawning of the fourth day 132 of the week was the 
nighttime of the [Jewish] twelfth day of the month, the fifteenth before 
the Kalends of April. The daytime of the thirteenth day of the month 133 
was the fifth day of the week, but the [ensuing] nighttime was the four- 
teenth of the month, the fourteenth before the Kalends of April. 134 The 
daytime of the fourteenth of the month was the eve of the Sabbath, the 

126 1 Pet. 3:17. 

127 Following Strobel’s understanding (pp. 305-309) of the situation envisaged by 
Epiphanius, and reading the text without Holl’s restorations. Epiphanius seems to have 
believed that the Jews, as a calendar correction, dropped the six hours between 6pm and 
midnight on the Jewish fifth day of the week, our Thursday night. Following this alleged 
calendar correction the Jewish fifth day of the week, and the days following, would begin 
at midnight, Roman fashion, rather than in the Jewish manner, at nightfall. The resurrec- 
tion would then be dated at the midnight between the equinox and the day of the equinox, 
not only by the Roman calendar but also by the now corrected Jewish calendar. 

Not only Holl, but others scholars emend or restore Epiphanius to make his work cor- 
rect. Strobel keeps Epiphanius’ text, on the assumption that the position he takes is artifi- 
cial, and intended to reconcile Quartodecimans to the Easter decision of Nicaea. 

128 Epiphanius means Matt. 26:2. 

129 Cf. Didascalia 21 (Achelis-Flemming p. in; Stewart-Sykes p. 214). 

130 I.e., oCtco?, if all had been done right. 

131 Cf. Didascalia 21 (Achelis-Flemming p. in; Stewart-Sykes p. 214). In other words, 
Jesus was arrested on our Tuesday night. However, the “nighttime of the eleventh of the 
month” should mean Wednesday night; Epiphanius, or the text, is confused here. Epipha- 
nius might have read the phrase, “late on the third day,” in his version of the Didascalia, 
and taken it as synonymous with “nighttime of the eleventh” (Schmidt, p. 691). 

132 I.e., the period between 6pm and midnight on our Wednesday. 

133 I.e., 6am-6pm on our Thursday. 

134 I.e., the calendar correction has now been made, and the Jewish 14 Nisan now begins 
at midnight on the Roman thirteenth before the Kalends, our Friday. 



thirteenth before the Kalends of April. The daytime of the fifteenth of the 
month 135 was the Sabbath, the twelfth before the Kalends of April. 

26.4 The dawning of the Lord’s Day was [the end of] the nighttime of 
the fifteenth of the month. 136 That was the illumination of hades, earth and 
heaven and the < time of the equality > the night and the day, reckoned 
[both] because of the (Jewish] fifteenth of the month and because of the 
course of the sun; for the resurrection and the equinox < came > [at mid- 
night] on the eleventh before the Kalends of April. As I said, < the Jews > 
were mistaken about this, and made sure that one day was skipped. 137 

26.5 Now the exact computation [of the lunar year] contains some 
[double-] hours, 138 and comes out even every third year, making a differ- 
ence of one day in their calculations. (6) For they add four other [double-] 
hours per year to the moon’s course after its 354 days, making one [addi- 
tional] day every three years. (7) And so they intercalate five months in 
fourteen years because the one [double-]hour is subtracted from the sun’s 
course of 365 days and three [double-] hours; for, with the hours added, 
the final result is 365 days less one [double] -hour. 

26,8 And so, because they multiply the fourteen years by six every 
eighty-four years, they intercalate one month in the eighty-fifth year, so 
that there are thirty-one [intercalary] months every eighty-five years; but 
by exact reckoning there ought to be thirty-one months, twenty-four 139 
days, and three [double]-hours. (27,1) The Jews were wrong at that time for 
this reason; not only did they eat the Passover two days early because they 
were disturbed, but they also added the one day they had skipped, since 
they were mistaken in every way. But the revelation of the truth has done 
everything for our salvation with the utmost precision. (2) Thus when the 
Savior himself had finished the Passover he went out into the mount “with 
intense desire” 140 after eating it. (3) And yet he ate that Jewish Passover 

135 In accordance with the calendar correction, the Jewish 14 Nisan now begins at mid- 
night on the Roman thirteenth before the Kalends, our Friday. 

136 In accordance with the calendar correction, the Jewish 15 Nisan now ends at mid- 
night on the Roman fifteenth before the Kalends, our Saturday/Sunday. 

137 According to 26,1, this should be “one evening,” i.e., nighttime. Epiphanius has erred, 
is speaking loosely, or misunderstands the Didascalia, see note 131. 

138 The following explains, in some sense, both the calendar correction and the eating 
of the Passover in advance. Without these, the moment of the equinox would have been 
midnight on the 16 Nisan, not coincident with the equinox. For discussion, see Strobel. 

139 Strobel and Codex Urbinas: x§; Codex Marcianus Venetus: xa; Strobel suggests that 
both are mistranscriptions of an original xy. 

140 Luke 22:15; he., desire to eat the real Passover. 



with the disciples, and did nothing different. He himself kept it the same 
as the others, so as not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. 

27.4 And so, after completing his thirtieth year in which he was bap- 
tized, and after completing his thirty-first by preaching for an entire 
“acceptable year” without opposition, but [then] preaching another year 
with opposition, to the accompaniment of persecution and hatred; and 
after completing [part of] another year after it, 141 a full seventy-four days 
from his birthday, — (the Epiphany, (5) January 5 at the dawn of Janu- 
ary 6 and the eleventh of the Egyptian month Tybi) — until the thirteenth 
before the Kalends of April, as 1 said, < on that same thirteenth before the 
Kalends of April*, > the twenty-fourth of the Egyptian month Phamenoth, 
he had attained a full thirty-two years, plus seventy-four days from the 
Epiphany. (6) And he rose on the twenty-sixth of the Egyptian month 
Phamenoth — (this was the day after the equinox and was preceded by 
the night and the equinox) — the day which followed the twenty-fifth of 
Phamenoth, the eleventh before the Kalends of April, < and appeared to 
his disciples. > This makes liars of all who are not sons of the truth. 

28,1 Valentinus, first of all, is at once < exposed > as a fantasist, since 
he expects < to prove* > to us, from the years of the Savior’s rearing and 
coming to manhood, that there are thirty aeons. He does not realize that 
the Savior did not live for only thirty years. (2) He was baptized in his 
thirtieth year at the age of twenty-nine years and ten months, on the 
twelfth of Athyr, as I said, the sixth before the Ides of November. And 
then, following his baptism which was < sixty days > before his birthday, 
< he passed* > an acceptable year of the Lord in preaching, and another 
year, of opposition, after < the first* > year, 142 and [finally] seventy-four 
days of opposition. (3) Thus all the years of his incarnation, from his birth 
until his passion, amounted to thirty-two years and seventy-four days. But 
there were two years and 134 days (sic!) 143 from the start < of his preaching 
in* > the consulship of Silanus and Nerva. And Valentinus stands refuted, 
and the many who are as foolish as he. 

28.4 The ones who reject John’s Gospel have also been refuted. (I may 
rightly call them “Dumb,” since they reject the Word of God — the Father’s 
Word who was proclaimed by John, and who came down from heaven 
and wrought salvation for us < by > the whole of his advent in the flesh.) 

141 Klostermann gsT cxutov, MSS and Holl gET& touto. 

142 Holl gETa tov irpoiTov eviauTov, Klostermann gETa touto. 

143 This should be two years and 14 days. Cf. 16,1-9. 



(5) For from the consulships, the years, the witness of the prophet Isaiah, 
the Gospel according to Luke, the Gospel according to John, the Gospel 
according to Matthew, the Gospel according to Mark — in short, the mis- 
guided people have been refuted from every source, (6) since Christ did 
not live to see just one Passover over the period of a year from the start 
of his preaching, but actually lived through the periods of a little less than 
three consulships after his baptism by John. (7) And the nitwits’ fallacious 
argument has failed < because it is* > full of silliness, and of an ignorance 
that not only fails to recognize its own salvation, but even futilely makes 
a lying war on the truth. 

2g,i For I have also found it written somewhere < in > these works that 
the Word of God was born about the fortieth year of Augustus. This was 
the writer’s error, or else he wrote only “forty (p) years” because the figure 
“beta” had been erased and only the “mu” was left on the page. For Christ 
was born in the forty-second year of Augustus. 

2g,2 And it says that Christ < was conceived > on the twelfth before the 
Kalends of July or June — I cannot say which — in the consulship of Sulp- 
icius Cammarinus and Betteus Pompeianus. 144 (3) I have noticed < too > 
that those who have given a date for the conception, and Gabriel’s bring- 
ing of the tidings to the Virgin, have said < this because of > a supposition 
of certain persons who have it by tradition 145 that Christ was born after a 
term of seven months. (4) For I have found that there is a time of seven 
lunar months less four days between the month they mention 146 and the 
eleventh of Tybi, the eighth before the Ides of January, when, in fact, the 
Epiphany came and Christ was born. (5) So if you should find < this > in 
a marginal gloss somewhere, do not be misled by the information. The 
actual date of Christ’s birth is in fact the eleventh of Tybi. 

2g,6 Some, however, say that Christ was carried in the womb for ten 
months less fourteen days and eight hours, making nine months, fifteen 
days and four hours. They are alluding to Solomon’s saying, "compacted 
in blood for a time of ten months.” 147 

2g,7 In any case, < it has been shown > by every means < that > the 
Lord’s birth in the flesh took place on < the > eleventh of the Egyptian 

144 This name is inaccurate and is ungrammatically placed in the dative while Sulpicius 
Cammarinus is in the genitive; it may be interpolated (Strobel, Dummer). 

145 Holl iyovruv iv napo'Sctra, MSS Xeyov-rav sv 7rapaScJc7£i. 

146 Holl 7rpoEipvjp£vou p)vop, MSS nponoum. 

147 Wisd Sol 7:2. 



month Tybi. And the first miracle in Cana of Galilee, when the water was 
made wine, was performed on about the same eleventh day thirty years 
later. (30,1) And even to this day this happens in many places as a testi- 
mony to unbelievers because of the miracle which was wrought at that 
time, as streams and rivers in many localities testify by being changed 
to wine. (2) The stream at Cibyre, the chief city of Caria, [bears witness] 
at the same time of day at which the servants drew the water and Christ 
said, “Give it to the governor of the feast.” 148 And the stream at Gerasa 
in Arabia testifies in the same way. < I > have drunk from the < one at > 
Cibyre < myself >, and my brethren have drunk from the stream in the 
martyrium at Gerasa. (3) And in Egypt too many give this testimony of the 
Nile. Thus in Egypt itself, and in many countries, everyone draws water on 
the eleventh of the Egyptian month Tybi, and stores it up. 

30,4 And so we see that after the twelfth of Athyr, when he had gone 
away and been tempted for forty days, and [then] come to Nazareth and 
stayed there for about two weeks and three days, he [next] went down to 
the Jordan to see John and spent a first day there, and a second; and [then 
he] returned to Nazareth, and likewise stayed there for a first and a sec- 
ond day. (5) And on the third day he went to Cana of Galilee. This makes 
a total of sixty days after the baptism: the forty days of the temptation; the 
two weeks < and two days > at Nazareth, and the other two; and on the 
third day the miracle of the water was performed at the wedding. 149 

30,6 After that he came to Capernaum and performed other miracles 
as 1 have said many times, and [then] returned to Nazareth again and read 
the roll of Isaiah the prophet. This is why [the people of Nazareth] say, 
“Do also here whatsoever signs we have heard thou hast done in Caper- 
naum.” 150 (7) Later, again, he returned from there to Capernaum and from 
there went over to the Lake, or Sea of Gennesareth, and Peter and the others 
were chosen for good; and then he went on to do all of his preaching. 

30,8 For going in order, as I said: after the forty < days > [of the tempta- 
tion], and the other two weeks and two days < at Nazareth >, Christ went 
to John on a first day and the day following. And when he had started back 
to Nazareth < from > John, and remained [in lodging] from the tenth hour 
until evening, and on the next day gone out and met Philip (g) — making 
two days — the Gospel next shows its unshakeable accuracy by its men- 

148 John 2:8. 

149 Cf. the material at 16,3; 21,10; 30,8. 

150 Luke 4:23. 



tion of the first two, the ones on which he “remained” in the course of his 
journey, [and] by saying [next], “On the third day there was a marriage in 
Cana of Galilee.” 151 

30,10 This was symbolic of the church. For on the third day of his activ- 
ity in the heart of the earth, which he spent in hades 152 after the pas- 
sion, he arose and contracted marriage with “Cana” — for "Cana” means 
“the bride.” 153 (11) But who is “the bride” except the heiress of whom the 
Psalmist said, “For the heiress,” 154 and so on, in the fifth Psalm? Blessed 
indeed is this marriage, which took its occasion from that type! (12) For 
there was an actual wedding there, in Cana of Galilee, and water which 
really became wine, < and Christ* > was invited for two purposes. [One 
was] to dry, < through > marriage, the wetness of the world’s carousers to 
temperance and decency. [The other was] to remedy what is wanting for 
good spirits through cheering wine, and through grace. (13) He thus com- 
pletely silences the opponents of marriage, 155 and by providing the vine 
with water, and tinting it into wine within the vine to make men glad, 
shows that, with his Father and Holy Spirit, he is God. I have discussed 
this elsewhere at greater length; 156 here I have hurried over the matter as 
though in passing. 

30,14 At all events, the Savior kept two Passovers after the beginning 
of his preaching and suffered on the third, and this ends the things I have 
by now said in great detail about days, months and consulships. And their 
erroneous argument has failed in every respect, since the Gospels are in 
agreement and no evangelist contradicts another. 

31,1 But to return to the subject. To witness to what I have said in a 
number of different ways, Luke, again, says, "It came to pass on the sec- 
ond Sabbath after the first.” 157 This is to show that a "first Sabbath” is the 
Sabbath the Lord ordained at the beginning and called a Sabbath during 
the creation, a Sabbath which has recurred at seven day intervals from 
then till now — but that a “second” Sabbath is the one instituted by the 
Law. (2) For the Law says, “Thou shalt take to thyself a lamb of a year old, 
male and without blemish” — a type of the Savior — “on the tenth day of 

151 John 2:1. 

152 Holl ev to a 5 yj, MSS ev tv) yv). 

153 So Origen, In Joh. 13.62. 

154 Ps 5, superscription. 

155 Holl yctpou, MSS xupiou, Codex Urbinas vopou xupiou. 

156 Anc. 66,2-10. 

157 Luke 6:1. 



the month, and it shall be kept until the fourteenth day. And ye shall slay 
it at even on the fourteenth day; and it shall be unto thee a Sabbath, an 
holy day, and ye shall eat unleavened bread seven days, and the seventh 
day thou shalt declare holy.” 158 (3) And see how such a holy day of the 
lamb is called a second Sabbath after the first Sabbath, and is consecrated 
as a Sabbath even if it may be the Lord’s Day, or if the second day of the 
week, or the third day of the week falls upon it. (4) But a second Sabbath 
[after this one], if it recurs in the regular seven day cycle, is called a “first” 
Sabbath — all of which shows that not only John gave indication of a time 
of two years and three Passover festivals, but that Luke and the others 
did as well. 

31,5 For the Law says as follows: “Thou shalt number unto thee seven 
weeks from the first [reaping] of the sheaf, the putting of the sickle unto 
the standing corn, and thou shalt declare the seventh seventh day an holy 
day of the Lord,” 159 meaning the feast of Pentecost. (6) For within three 
days after the slaying of the Passover — that is, three days after [the sacri- 
fice of] the lamb — the Law enjoined the bringing in of the sheaf, mean- 
ing the blessed Sheaf which was raised from the dead after the third day. 
(7) For the earth brought forth the Sheaf, and he received it back from her 
at his rising < from > the tomb and remaining with his disciples for the 
forty days, and at the end of the Pentecost bringing it into the heavens to 
the Father. (8) He is the firstborn of the firstborn, the holy hrstfruits, the 
Sheaf which was reaped from Mary, the Embrace embraced in God, the 
fruit of the womb, the hrstfruits of the threshing floor, (g) For after Pen- 
tecost the sickle no longer offers a hrstfruits to God: “The Lord dieth no 
more, death hath no more dominion over him.” 160 as the scripture says. 

31,10 And you see how many of God’s mysteries the Law prehgured and 
the Gospel fulfilled. In which passages can I not expound them? But not 
to go on too long, I must return to our order of presentation. (11) However, 
from the ears, the standing grain and the disciples, it is plain that John, 
Luke and all the evangelists describe all these things after the forty day 

32,1 But again, these people are not ashamed to take arms against the 
things St.John has said, supposing that they can overthrow the truth, but 
unaware that they are attacking themselves rather than the sound doc- 

158 Exod 12:5; 6:14; 15. 

159 Deut 16:9; Lev 23:15-16. 

160 Rom 6:g. 



trine. (2) For they derisively say against Revelation, “What good does John’s 
Revelation do me by telling me about seven angels and seven trumpets?” 
(3) not knowing that such things were essential and profitable when the 
message was rightly understood. 

32,4 For whatever was obscure and puzzling in The Law and the Proph- 
ets, the Lord in his providence revealed by the Holy Spirit "to his servant 
John” 161 for our salvation. What was obscure there he proclaims spiritually 
and clearly here, < for he gave commandments bodily* > in the Law but 
reveals the same ones spiritually to us. 

(5) And in the Law he makes the then tabernacle out of skins, the 
skins that were dyed scarlet, blue and so on, to show that the tabernacle 
there is actually a tent, but that it awaits the perfect Tabernacle of Christ. 
(6) For skin comes off a body and is a dead thing, like the shadow of a 
living body; and this shows that bodies are God’s tabernacle, for God 
dwells in holy bodies in fulfillment of the words of scripture, “I shall tab- 
ernacle in thee and make my abode in thee.” 162 

32,7 Thus error would arise among the faithful if the book had not been 
revealed to us spiritually, teaching us that there is no need for trumpets, 
but < enabling us* > to know that God’s entire activity is spiritual — (8) so 
that we will not take these as bronze or silver trumpets like the Jewish 
trumpets, but understand spiritually that they are the church’s message 
from heaven: as he has said elsewhere, “On that day they sound with the 
great trumpet.” 163 (9) For the prophets were trumpets, but the great Trum- 
pet is the Lord’s holy voice in the Gospel. For this is why angels were also 
privileged to make revelations to us; “For the trumpet shall sound,” it says, 
“and the dead will arise.” 164 

32,10 But if you people joke about the angels’ trumpets because of their 
being in Revelation, then the trumpet the holy apostle speaks of must 
be a joke too, for he says, “The Lord shall descend from heaven at the 
last trump, and the dead will arise on the last day at the voice of the 
archangel.” 165 (11) What reply is left you, since Paul agrees with the holy 
apostle John in the Revelation? How can every error not be refuted at 
once, when God has testified < for > the saints in each book? 

161 Rev 1:1. 

162 2 Cor 6:16 (Lev 26:12). 

163 Cf. Num 10:10. 

164 1 Cor 15:52. 

165 Cf. 1 Thes 4:16. 



33,1 Then again, some of them seize on the following text in Revela- 
tion, and say in contradiction of it, "He said, in turn, ‘Write to the angel of 
the church in Thyatira,’ 166 and there is no church of Christians in Thyatira. 
How could he write to a non-existent church?” (2) In fact these people 
demolish themselves since they are compelled by their own declarations 167 
to confess the truth. For if they say, “There is no church in Thyatira now,” 
they are showing that John has foretold this. 

33>3 For after these Phrygians had settled there and like wolves seized 
the minds of the simple believers, they converted the whole town to their 
sect, and at that time those who reject Revelation attacked this text in an 
effort to discredit it. (4) But now, in our time, the church is there thanks 
to Christ and is growing, 112 years after [its restoration], even < though > 
there are some others (i.e., sectarians) there. Then, however, the whole 
church had deserted to the Phrygians. (5) And thus the Holy Spirit was 
at pains to reveal to us the way the church would fall into error ninety- 
three years after the time of the apostles, John and his successors — or in 
other words, for a time < of 138 years* > from the Savior’s ascension until 
the church’s restoration — since the church there would go astray and be 
buried in the Phrygian sect. 

33,6 For this is how the Lord at once confounds < them > in Revela- 
tion, with the words, “Write to the angel of the church in Thyatira, Thus 
saith he whose eyes are as a flame of fire, and his feet like fine brass. I 
know thy works, and thy faith and thy love and thy ministry, and that 
thy latter works are more than the first. (7) But I have against thee that 
thou sufferest the woman Jezebel to deceive my servants, calling herself a 
prophetess, teaching to eat things sacrificed to idols and commit fornica- 
tion. And I gave her space for repentance, and she will not repent of her 
fornication.” 168 

33,8 Don’t you see, you people, that he means the women who are 
deceived by a false conception of prophecy, and will deceive many? I 
mean that he is speaking of Priscilla, Maximilla and Quintilla, (g) whose 
imposture the Holy Spirit did not overlook. He foretold it prophetically 
by the mouth of St. John, who prophesied before his falling asleep, dur- 
ing the time of Claudius Caesar and earlier, when he was on the isle of 
Patmos. Even these people in Thyatira admit that this has come true. 

166 Rev 2:18. 

167 Holl dva<7XEud?ovTEi;, dvaoxEuociJopEvoi, MSS: dvotyxd^ovTE?. 

168 Rev 2:18-21. 



(10) John, then, was writing prophetically, to those who were living in 
Christ there at the time, that a woman would call herself a prophetess. 
And the artificial argument which is raised against the truth has failed 
completely, since it can be shown that the prophetic oracle in Revelation 
is truly of the Holy Spirit. 

34,1 Again, in their endless hunt for texts, to give the appearance of 
discrediting the holy apostle’s books — I mean John’s Gospel and Revela- 
tion and perhaps the Epistles as well, for they too agree with the Gospel 
and Revelation — these people get excited (2) and quote, “I saw, and he 
said to the angel, Loose the four angels which are upon the Euphrates. 
And I heard the number of the host, ten thousand times ten thousand 
and thousands of thousands, and they were clad in breastplates of fire and 
sulfur and hyacinth.” 169 

34,3 For people like these thought that the truth might be < some 
sort of > joke. For if he speaks of the four angels who are sitting in the 
Euphrates, this is to indicate the various peoples there who live by the 
Euphrates: the Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians. (4) For these 
are the four kingdoms which are successively mentioned in Daniel. The 
Assyrians were the first of them to rule, and in Daniel’s time, the Babylo- 
nians. But the Medes succeeded them, and after them came the Persians, 
whose first king was Cyrus. 

34,5 For the nations have been put under the angels’ command, as 
God’s holy servant Moses testifies, interpreting the words consistently 
and saying: “Ask thy father and he will tell thee, thine elders and they will 
say it unto thee: when the most High apportioned the nations, when he 
dispersed the sons of Adam, he set bounds to the nations according to the 
number of the angels of God. And his people Jacob became the Lord’s por- 
tion, Israel the lot of his inheritance.” 170 (6) Now if the nations have been 
put under the angels’ command John was right in saying, “Loose the four 
angels who are upon the Euphrates.” They are plainly in charge [of the 
nations], and prevented from sending the nations to war until the time of 
[the end of] God’s long-suffering, until he orders the avenging of his saints 
by their agency. (7) The angels in command are restrained by the Spirit 
and not allowed to attack, because justice does not release them yet, so 
that the rest of the nations may be released because of the outrage the 
saints have endured. But they are to be released and fall suddenly on the 

169 Rev 9:14; 16; 17. 

170 Deut 32:7-9. 



earth, as John and the rest of the prophets foretold. For when the angels 
are aroused, they arouse the nations to an avenging onslaught. 

34,8 And let no one doubt that he meant sulfur, fiery and hyacinth 
breastplates. Those nations wear clothing of that color. “Sulfur clothes” 
means a quince yellow color, as they call it, of wool. “Fiery” means their 
scarlet clothing, and “hyacinth” means the blue-green wool. 

35,1 But since these people have not received the Holy Spirit they are 
spiritually condemned for not understanding the things of the Spirit, and 
choosing to speak against the words of the Spirit. This is because they do 
not know the gifts of grace in the holy church, which the Holy Spirit, the 
holy apostles, and the holy prophets have expounded truly and soundly, 
with understanding and a sound mind. (2) One of the apostles and proph- 
ets, St. John, has shared his sacred gift with the holy church, through the 
Gospel, the Epistles and the Revelation. (3) But these people are liable to 
the scriptural penalty, “Whoso blasphemeth against the Holy Spirit it will 
not be forgiven him, neither in this world nor in the world to come.” 171 For 
they have gone to war against the words the Spirit has spoken. 

35,4 But let us go on once more to the rest, beloved, with the power of 
God. Now that I have said such things, and so many of them, against such 
a sect, I think that this is enough. I have trampled it with God’s power and 
truth, like the many-footed millipede or the serpent they call the wood- 
louse. It is not very strong and its poison is not very painful, but it has lots 
of feet and its body is long and twisty. 

Against Adamians * 1 32, but 52 of the series 

1,1 The four-footed animal with an underground den which tunnels in the 
earth and has its burrow deep inside it, is called a mole. All its character- 
istics are like those of a small puppy for it has the < same > round shape, 
and it has no sight at all. (2) It is a destructive creature which roots out 
people’s crops from below, especially every cucumber bed and the sharp- 
tasting plants — onions, garlic, purse-tassels and the like — and lilies and 
the rest. (3) But if it actually gets onto the surface during its tunneling, in 
the open air, or if it is hunted and caught by men, it is an object of ridicule 
to everyone who hunts the creature. 

171 Matt 12:32. 

1 This sect is reported only by Epiphanius, and by Theodoret (Haer. Fab. 1.6) in depen- 
dence upon Epiphanius. Epiphanius’ sources are oral, cf. 1,6-9. 



1,4 With all this I am trying to say of the sect with which I now have 
to do that it is blind in heart and stupid, creates desolation for itself 
and undermines the ground it stands on, and injures the roots of many, 

< I mean > of those who have happened on it. (5) But if it should be spied 
by the wise, it gives them a good laugh. As the creature we spoke of is 
mocked for its blindness, < and > cannot find its hole because of its lack 
of sight, so is this sect. 

1,6 For they have adopted the name of Adam. I say this because I have 
heard it reported by many; I have not found it in any treatises, and have 
certainly not met any such people. (7) And so, since many have spoken 
of the sect, I consider it worth mentioning. And this is why I was right in 
comparing it with that blind animal which is not readily seen by men; it 
is hidden in the earth and does its damage below. 

1,8 Now it is completely absurd and I considered not including it at all. 
However, as long as there is even a rumor of it, it can do the wise hearer 
no harm to know about all the tares the devil has sown in the world. 
(9) For whether or not there is such a sect, since I have heard many say 
that there is I think it is sensible to speak of it for safety’s sake and not 
leave it out, even if it has been dissolved and is no longer in being. For 
I am not certain whether it still exists or not. 

1,10 But why should I spend a long time on my prologue to the descrip- 
tion of it? I shall begin my account of the ridicule, or rather, of the sorrow. 
For it is susceptible of the two things at once, ridicule and sorrow — 

< sorrow > at the devil’s way of planting contempt for God’s creature in 
the human mind; ridicule of those who can neither see, nor conceive of 
anything sensible. 

2,1 In the first place, they say that these people build their churches — 
or dens and caves; that is what I would call the meetings of the sects — in 
heated rooms, and that they heat them from below so that there will be 
hot air to warm the congregation in the chamber inside. (2) And when 
they come in they have people to watch the clothes, like cloak-room atten- 
dants, stationed at the doors. And they each, whether man or woman, 
undress outside as they come in, and enter with their whole bodies as 
naked as the day they were born. And their recognized leaders and teach- 
ers all sit stark naked, some in front and some in back, here and there in 
no particular order. 

2,3 They are all called “continent,” if you please, and make a boast of 
it — and “virgins,” as they delude themselves into thinking they are — and 
they have their readings and all the rest of their service naked. (4) But if 
it appears that one of them has “fallen into transgression,” as they put it, 



they do not admit him any more. They say that he < is > Adam after eating 
from the tree, and condemn him to expulsion from their church as though 
from Paradise. For they think that their church is Paradise, and that they 
themselves are Adam and Eve. 

2.5 Why do they heat the room, then — to keep from getting a chill? 
Adam and Eve didn’t live in a house with a furnace and weren’t oppressed 
by any heat, and no cold afflicted them. (6) They had the purest of air, 
temperately dispensed to them by God < with > all mildness, neither 
sharpened by the rigor of cold, nor enervated by summer’s wretched heat. 
The country had been set aside for an immortal abode, very < well > made 
by God, filled with gladness and well-being; and as I said, it got neither 
cold nor hot. Since the Adamians lack these things, it is plain that they 
are a joke. 

3,1 Next let us look at another way of exposing their whole imposture. 
Adam and Eve were not naked for one hour; they were always naked “and 
were not ashamed.” 2 But the nakedness of these people is not from lack 
of shame, even if they themselves think so; they are naked for the sake of 
an insatiable pleasure which works its enchantment on the pupils of the 
eyes. (2) The modesty commended in all the sacred scriptures has been 
taken from them and the words of the prophet are truly fulfilled, “The 
appearance of an harlot hath been given thee, who hast been shameless 
with all.” 3 

3.3 But after that hour they resume their clothes outside, and [so] they 
cannot be Adam. Adam and his wife were not furnished clothing at the 
outset. They sewed fig leaves together first, and then they were given skin 
tunics, and so, after a considerable part of their lives, “the manifold wis- 
dom of God” 4 endowed them with the knowledge of clothing. 

3.4 These people will also be jeered at in every way because, in calling 
themselves Adam and Eve, they are lying about themselves, and yet at 
the same time telling the truth. (5) For it is plain from many indications 
that they are not Adam, as I have shown. But that they are mocked by 
the spiritual serpent is plain from their false symbolism, their nakedness, 
shame and absurdity. 

3.6 It is not worth my while to make a big thing of their refutation. 
To kill a beast of their sort one does not need weapons of war or heavy 

2 Gen 2:25. 

3 Jer 3:3. 

4 Cf. Eph 3:10. 



armor; (7) it is dispatched with a little stick. Often, when it has been 
pulled from its den it is merely left alone and dies of itself, laughed and 
jeered at with nowhere to run to — as these people, when they are caught, 
are put to shame by their ridiculous absurdity, unseemly behavior and 
silly religion. 

3,8 But now, as we prepare to look into the rest, let us pray the Lord 
once more for his assistance in finding out the rest and refuting them, and 
for our salvation and that of our readers. 

Against Sampsaeans 1 

1,1 There is a sect of Peraean Sampsaeans, the people also known as Elka- 
saites whom I have already mentioned in my other Sects, 2 in the country 
called Peraea beyond the Salt, or as it is called, the Dead Sea. They are 
< also > in Moabitis near the river Arnon, and on the other side in Ituraea 
and Naabatitis, as I have often said of them. 3 

1,2 These people boast that Elxai is their teacher, and further, two 
women of his stock who are alive to this day, and are worshipped as sup- 
posed goddesses because they are of the blessed seed. (3) But Ossaeans, 
Ebionites and Nazoraeans use this book, as I have often said. 4 These 
Sampsaeans, however, actually base their religion on it, and are neither 
Christians, Jews nor pagans; since they are just in the middle, they are 
nothing. But they say that they have another book, which is called the 
book of Elxai’s brother Iexai. 

1.4 They say that God is one, and supposedly worship him by the 
administration of some sort of baptisms. 5 They are devoted to the Jewish 
religion, [but] not in all ways. Some of them even abstain from meat. 

1.5 They will die for Elxai’s descendants. And I have heard recently that 
the one woman, called Marthus, had died though, unless she has died 
too, Marthana was still alive. (6) Any time these women went anywhere 

1 Epiphanius is the only heresiologist to discuss the Sampsaeans. Much of his material 
is based on the contents of Elxai’s book, which he had read: see Pan. 19,1,4-4,6; Hippol. 
Haer. 9.13.2-4; Eus. H. E. 6.38. As a Palestinian, Epiphanius may have had some personal 
knowledge. Sampsaeans are mentioned in connection with Ossaeans and others at Pan. 
19,2,1; 20,3,2; 30,3,2. 

2 Pan. 19,2,1; 20,3,2. 

3 Cf. Pan. 19,1,2; 20,3,2. 

4 Cf. Pan. 19,5,4. 

5 Cf., perhaps, the “Baptists" of the Life of Mani, CMC. 



on foot, the crowds would follow them and take the dust of their feet for 
healing, if you please, and, since they were woefully deluded, their spittle 
too, and use them in phylacteries and amulets. For every error contracted 
blindness first, and nonsense next. 

1.7 They accept neither prophets nor apostles, but all their ideas are 
delusion. They honor water and all but regard it as God, for they claim it 
is the source of life. 6 

1.8 They confess Christ in name but believe that he is a creature, and 
that he keeps appearing every now and then. He was formed for the first 
time in Adam, but when he chooses he takes Adam’s body off and puts 
it on again, (g) He is called Christ, and the Holy Spirit is his sister, in 
female form. Each of them, Christ and the Holy Spirit, is ninety-six miles 
in height and twenty-four miles in width; and they < blab out* > a lot of 
other < nonsense* >. 

2,1 1 have often described these people before in the other Sects, and 
composed refutations; hence 1 do not think it is necessary to make a big 
thing of the demolition of a refutation [in their case], since 1 have already 
done it with Elxaeus, or Elxai himself, and his followers, in the other Sects 
1 have mentioned. Anyone can tell that he and his sect are off the track. 
(2) Let us go on to the rest now, since we have struck him, like a solar liz- 
ard, with the cudgel of hope in Christ and his cross. For it is worth using 
the very name they have given themselves as a symbolic explanation of 
their phony title. “Sampsaeans” translated means “Solar”; 7 this is why I 
have mentioned the beast. 

2.3 For people call this lizard a "solar lizard.” But this sect is inferior 
to the lizard, since it does not even have its momentary advantage. For 
though the lizard’s sight is dim, it sometimes sees clearly with the aid of 
the sun’s orb; < for > in its den, which faces eastward, it strains itself, fast- 
ing, towards the east, < and > when it sees the sun its sight loses its dim- 
ness. But in my opinion this sect has the lizard’s foolishness in everything, 
and not even this little bit to its credit. 

2.4 And so, now that this sect which we have called a solar lizard has 
also been trampled by the truth, < let remain in its foolishness >. 

6 With Brandt, Dummer and Amidon we punctuate with a comma after ct^eSov. 

7 Epiphanius derives Sampsaean from U?QUt 



Against Theodotians. 1 34, but 54 of the series 

1,1 One Theodotus arose in his turn. He was an offshoot of the “Dumb” sect 
I have spoken of, which denies John’s Gospel and the divine Word who it 
< declares > was “in the beginning,” and John’s Revelation. (2) He was also 
associated and contemporary with the other sects we have discussed, and 
was their successor in time. 2 The Theodotians, as they are called, derive 
from him. I do not know whether the sect is still in existence, but shall say 
what I have learned about it from written works. 

1,3 Theodotus was from Byzantium, 3 which is now called Constan- 
tinople. He was a shoemaker by trade, 4 but a man of broad learning. 
(4) At the outset of a persecution — I cannot say which one — he with 
some others was arrested by the governor of the city, and was subjected to 
examination for Christ’s sake along with the rest. All the other servants of 
God won their victory and attained heavenly rewards by their witness for 
Christ. (5) Theodotus, however, fell into transgression by denying Christ 
and missing the mark of the truth and, deeply ashamed because of his 
censure by many, fled his native land, moved to Rome and lived there. 

1,6 But when he was recognized by the Christians in Rome, he once 
again incurred the same censure there; for he was charged, by those who 
knew him for his learning, with being a very learned man who had lost 
his grip on the truth. (7) But as a supposed lame excuse for himself he 
invented the following new doctrine that said, “I didn’t deny God, 1 denied 
a man.” Then, when they asked him, “Which man?” he answered, “I denied 
the man Christ.” 

r,8 Thereafter he, and the Theodotians whose founder he was, taught 
this doctrine of his and said that Christ is a mere man 5 begotten of a 
man’s seed. 6 (g) Next, as a weak defense for himself, he collected whatever 
texts he found useful — not that he honestly thought [this was what they 
meant], but he amassed them as an excuse for his defection. He said, [for 

1 Epiph tells us at 1,2 that his sources are written; he plainly has some digest of Theodo- 
tus' arguments. For Theodotians see also Hipp. Haer.7.35.1-2; 8.9.35; 10.23.1-2; PsT 8. 

2 Hipp. Haer. 8.9.35 makes Theodotus “an offshoot of the Gnostics and Cerinthians, and 
the school of Ebion.” 

3 Cf. Hipp. Haer. 7.35.1; PsT 8. 

4 Eus. H. E. 5.28.6. 

5 Hipp. Haer. 7.35.2; 10.23.1; Eus. H. E.5.28.6; PsT 8. 

6 Hippolytus reports the Theodotus taught the doctrine of the Virgin Birth but without 
deducing from it the divinity of Christ, Haer. 7.35.2. Cf. Pan 54,3,5. 



example], “Christ said, ‘But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told 
you the truth.’ 7 You see,” he said, “that Christ is a man.” 

2.1 But the wretch does not know that the Lord says in the same verse, 
“the truth which I have heard of my Father." He is saying that God is his 
father — not a man. (2) If he had heard the truth from a man he would not 
have boasted of his witness to the truth by saying that he had heard the 
truth from men. Instead he boasts of it to show that he is God, begotten 
of the Father on high but become man for us, and slain in the flesh, but 
living forever in his Godhead. 

2.3 Theodotus says next that he has not committed sin by denying 
Christ. “For,” says he, “Christ himself has said, ‘All manner of blasphemy 
shall be forgiven men,’ and, Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son 
of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but he that blasphemeth the Holy Ghost, 
it shall not be forgiven him here or in the world to come.’” 8 

2.4 And the unfortunate man does not know that, from a superabun- 
dance of meekness and lovingkindness, the Lord is saying this propheti- 
cally, in his desire to ensure in advance the salvation of those who have 
at one time blasphemed him and [then] returned to repentance, thus not 
sentencing them to condemnation. (5) [He is saying it besides] because 
he knows that certain persons will arise and blaspheme the Holy Spirit 
and place him in a slave’s status, making him alien to the essence of God. 
(6) And so, as a precaution, he said, “He that blasphemeth against the 
Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him here or in the world to come” — 
not to commend those who blaspheme him, but to show his foreknowl- 
edge and lovingkindness by assuring in advance the salvation of those 
who blaspheme him and [then] repent. (7) For he himself, again, says, “He 
that hath denied me before men shall be denied before my Father,” 9 and, 
“I will deny him,” 10 and again, “He that confesseth me I will confess before 
my Father.” * 11 

3.1 And again this same Theodotus says, "The Law too said of him, 
‘The Lord will raise up unto you a prophet of your brethren, like unto me; 
hearken to him.’ 12 But Moses was a man. Therefore the Christ whom God 

7 John 8:40. 

8 Matt 12:31-32. 

9 Matt 10:33. 

10 Matt 10:33. 

11 Matt 10:32. 

12 Deut 18:15. 



raised up was this person but, since he was one of them, was a man just 
as Moses was a man.” 

3,2 Because of his lapse into transgression Theodotus has no under- 
standing of the way in which each text has its safeguard. (3) The Lord 
raised Christ “from among his brethren” in the sense that he was born of 
Mary, as the scripture says, “Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear 
a son.” 13 While still remaining a virgin “she shall conceive” — not from a 
man’s seed — “and bear a Son;” it is plain that the Virgin’s offspring was 
born in the flesh. But “They shall call his name Emmanuel which being 
interpreted, is God with us.” 14 (4) For he is God and man: God, begotten 
of the Father without beginning and not in time; but man, born of Mary, 
because of the incarnation. 

3,5 Next Theodotus says, “And the Gospel itself said to Mary, ‘The Spirit 
of the Lord shall come upon thee’; 15 it did not say, ‘The Spirit of the Lord 
shall enter into thee.’” (6) For in his contentiousness the stupid man is 
deprived of the truth in every respect. In every way the scripture is pro- 
tecting our salvation. To show that the Trinity is altogether and entirely 
co-existent and co-operant, and make sure that no one will echo the evil 
allegations which many make (7) to separate the Holy Spirit from Christ 
and < the > Father, the angel says to Mary, “The Holy Ghost shall come 
upon thee and the power of the highest shall overshadow thee,” and after 
that, “Therefore also that which is born of thee shall be called holy, the 
Son of God.” 

3,8 And he did not say merely, “that which is born,” but, “therefore also 
that which is born < [shall be] holy >,” 16 to show that < the > divine Word 
from above also entered the womb and formed his own human nature 
in his image according to his good pleasure. And because of his human 
nature which he took for our salvation, the scripture adds, “Therefore 
also that which is born shall be called holy, the Son of God.” (9) For if the 
angel had said, "The Holy Spirit shall enter into thee,” it would not be pos- 
sible to think that the Son of God had come in the flesh, but [only] that 
the Holy Spirit had come in the flesh. 

3,10 But since he is the Word come from on high, John, to clarify what 
we hear from the angel in the Gospel, said, “In the beginning was the 
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things 

13 Isa 7:14. 

14 Matt 1:23. 

15 Luke 1:35. See note 6. 

16 Klostermann: <ayiov>. 



were made by him, and without him was not anything made.” 17 (n) Then, 
after this, “And the Word was made flesh.” 18 And he did not say, “The 
Spirit was made flesh;” nor did he say, "Christ was born as a man.” (12) On 
its guard at every turn, the sacred scripture knows him as God and man: 
God come from God on high, but man born of Mary without a man’s seed. 
Whoever departs from these two truths is not of the truth. 

4.1 The wretched Theodotus, once more, says by way of allegation, “Jer- 
emiah too said of him, ‘He he is a man and who will know him?’ ” 19 Because 
< he > had estranged himself from the truth < he> did not know that each 
verse, as 1 said, is self-interpreting. Whoever is a man is of course known 
by many acquaintances — 1 mean by his father and mother, brothers and 
relatives, friends and neighbors, fellow townsmen, household servants. 

(3) But here, to describe the marvel of Christ’s whole work, the scripture 
called him “man” because of the incarnation, but gave indication of his 
incomprehensible Godhead by saying, “Who will know him?” (4) For since 
“No man knoweth the Son save the Father, neither knoweth any man the 
Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him,” 20 no 
one will know Christ unless < Christ himself > reveals it to him. (5) But by 
the Holy Spirit he reveals his own and his Father’s Godhead and glory to 
his servants, and his eternal life to come, his mysteries, his teaching, and 
his true advent in the flesh for our sakes; for he is God from on high, and 
man from Mary. 

5.1 Then Theodotus says in turn, “Isaiah too called him a man, for he 
said, ‘A man acquainted with the bearing of infirmity; and we knew him 
afflicted with blows and abuse, and he was despised and not esteemed.’” 21 
(2) But the oaf does not know how he is confounded once more. In that 
very passage Isaiah said the following: “He was brought as a lamb to the 
slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearer is dumb so he opened not his 
mouth. In his humiliation his judgment was taken away” 22 — (3) then he 
says, “Who can declare his generation, for his life is taken from men?” 23 
And he didn’t say, “His life was taken < from > him," but, “from men." 

(4) For the Word is forever living and in being, has life of himself, and 

17 John 1:1; 3. 

18 John 1:14. 

19 Jer 17:8. 

20 Matt 11:27. 

21 Isa 53:3. 

22 Isa 53:7-83. 

23 Cf. Isa 53:6b. 



gives life to those who love him. His life was taken from men, but < as God 
he lives* > and is life of himself. For “The Word is living,” 24 and provides 
life to all who have truly placed their hopes in flim- 
sy And the words, “Who can declare his generation?” < cannot be 
applied to a man* >. If he were a mere man born of Mary, it would be 
easy to declare his generation. But since he is before David, < and > before 
Abraham — (6) “Your father Abraham,” he says, “desired to see my day, 
and he saw it and was glad.” 25 And then, when they said in astonishment, 
“Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou see Abraham?” 26 in refuta- 
tion of Theodotus and the unbelieving Jews who deny God he said, “Verily, 
verily I say unto you, before Abraham, I am.” 27 (7) For he was truly before 
Abraham, and before Noah, Adam, the world, heaven, the time of the uni- 
verse, and the time of all creatures, for he is not in time. (8) And this is 
why, through Isaiah, he is declared incomprehensible by the Holy Spirit: 
“Who can declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth.” 28 

5,9 Theodotus, however, says, “The holy apostles called him ‘a man 
approved among you by signs and wonders;’ 29 and they did not say, ‘God 
approved.’” (ro) But Theodotus, you are foiled again. On the contrary, the 
same apostles [said that he was God] in the same Acts, as the blessed 
Stephen said, “Behold, I see heaven open, and the Son of Man standing 
on the right hand of God.” 30 

6,r His next allegation is that ‘The apostle called him the mediator 
between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.’” 31 (2) And he does not 
realize how he is attacking himself once more. The apostle who said, 
“mediator between God and man, < the man > Christ Jesus,” clarified this 
himself by saying, "declared to be the Son of God with power, according 
to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead, our Lord Jesus 
Christ;” 32 and again, “made of a woman, made under the Law.” 33 (3) And 
in confirmation of these statements he says, “If there be that are called 
gods many and lords many, yet to us there is one God, of whom are all 

24 Heb 4:12. 

25 Cf. lohn 8:56 and Matt 13:17. 

26 John 8:57. 

27 John 8:58. 

28 Isa 53:6b. 

29 Acts 2:22. 

30 Acts 7:56. 

31 1 Tim 2:5. 

32 Rom 1:4. 

33 Gal 4:4. 



things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things < and we for 
him >.” 34 (4) But if “All things are by him and we are for him,” the Only- 
begotten cannot be a mere man < who dates > from Mary, or the product 
of a man’s seed. If he was a mere man, how could all things be by him 
when, as you say, they were before him? Or how could all things be for 
him, when they were known and made before him? And Theodotus’ fool- 
ishness fails completely. 

6,5 During the debate itself I have both said what I know of Theodotus, 
and given the refutation of each of his arguments. In the manner of the 
series I shall pass him by as though, with the hope and faith of the truth, 
I had struck and killed part of a still wriggling snake. Let us investigate the 
rest, and hurry on to take a look at the sects in all their savagery. 

Against Melchizedekians, * 1 35, but 55 of the series 

1,1 In turn, others call themselves Melchizedekians; they may be an off- 
shoot of the group who are known as Theodotians. (2) They honor the 
Melchizedek who is mentioned in the scriptures and regard him as a sort 
of great power. 2 He is on high in places which cannot be named, and in 
< fact > is not just a power; indeed, they claim in their error that he is 
greater than Christ. 3 (3) Based, if you please, on the literal wording of, 
“Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek,” 4 they believe 
that Christ has merely come and been given the order of Melchizedek. 
Christ is thus younger than Melchizedek, they say. For if his place were 
not somehow second in line 5 he would have no need of Melchizedek’s 

1,4 Of Melchizedek himself they say that he < has come into being > 
“without father, without mother, without lineage” 6 — as they would like to 

34 1 Cor 8:5-6. 

1 The Qumran Melchizedek fragments, (11Q Melch), 2 Enoch 71-72, Pistis Sophia and 
the Nag Hammadi tractate Melchizedek (NHC IX, 1) all witness to Melchizedek's impor- 
tance in many ancient circles. Patristic notices of the Melchizedekean heresy are found at 
Eus. H. E. 5.28.8-10; Hippol. Haer. 7.36; PsT 8; Jer. Ep. 73. Cf. Pan 67,7. 

2 In Pistis Sophia the heavenly Melchizedek is the “paralemptor of the light,” who 
restores imprisoned light to the treasury of light, PS 34-36; 194-195 et al. NHC's Melchizedek 
implies that his origin is heavenly, Melch. 6,16-19. At nQMelch he conducts the last judg- 
ment and is termed “El.” 

3 Hipp. Haer. 7.36; PsT 8. 

4 Ps 109:4. 

5 The translation is problematic. 

6 Heb 7:3. 



show from St. Paul’s Epistle to the Hebrews. (5) They also fabricate spuri- 
ous books for their own deception. 

1,6 Their refutation comes from the texts themselves. When David 
prophesies that the Lord will be a priest after the order of Melchizedek, 
the sacred scripture is saying in the same breath that Christ will be a priest. 
(7) But we find that < Paul > says at once, “Made like unto the Son of God, 
[Melchizedek] abideth a priest continually.” 7 Now if he is made Like the 
Son of God, he is not equal to the Son of God. How can the servant be the 
master’s equal? (8) For Melchizedek was a man. “Without father, without 
mother,” is not said because he had no father or mother, but because his 
father and mother are not explicitly named in the sacred scripture. 

1,9 The profundities and glories of the sacred scripture, which are 
beyond human understanding, have confused many. The natives of Petra 
in Arabia, which is called Rokom and Edom, were in awe of Moses because 
of his miracles, and at one time they made an image of him, and mistak- 
enly undertook 8 to worship it. They had no true cause for this, but in their 
ignorance their error drew an imaginary inference from something real. 
(10) And in Sebasteia, which was once called Samaria, they have declared 
Jephthah’s daughter a goddess, and still hold a festival in her honor every 
year. (11) Similarly, these people have heard the glorious, wise words of 
the scripture and changed them to stupidity. With over-inflated pride they 
have abandoned the way of the truth, and will be shown to have fabri- 
cated stories of their own invention. 

2,1 In fact Melchizedek’s father and mother are mentioned by some 
authors, though this is not based on the canonical, covenanted scriptures. 
Still, some have said that his father was a man called Heracles, and his 
mother was Astarth, the same as Astoriane. He was the son of one of the 
inhabitants of the country at that time, who lived in the plain of Save. 
(2) And the city was called Salem, and various authors have given dif- 
ferent accounts of it. Some say that it is the city now known as Jerusa- 
lem, though it was once called Jehus. But others have said that there was 
another Salem in the plain of Sicimi, opposite the town which is now 
called Neapolis. 

2,3 But whether it was the one location or the other — the places are 
not far apart — in any case the passage tells what happened. It says, “He 
brought forth bread and wine for Abraham, and at that time he was the 

7 Heb 7:3. 

8 Holl: emyeipoOv MSS: 7ipo<7£xuvouv. 



priest of God Most High. 9 And he blessed Abraham, and took a tithe from 
him. (4) For the priest of God Most High had to be honored by a servant of 
God, and — since the circumcised priesthood would stem from Abraham 
himself — Abraham had to offer first to the priest who served without cir- 
cumcision, so that “Every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowl- 
edge of God” 10 would be humbled. (5) Thus the circumcised, who boast of 
priesthood, could not dispute the priesthood of God’s holy church, which 
observes neither bodily circumcision nor the absence of it, but possesses 
the greater and more perfect circumcision, the laver of regeneration. 

2,6 For if Abraham offered a tithe to Melchizedek but Abraham’s 
descendants offer it to Aaron and Levi, and next, after the priesthood 
had become circumcised through Aaron and his sons, the scripture says 
through David that the priesthood is vested in Melchizedek — says this 
twelve generations after Levi’s birth and after seven generations from 
the succession of Aaron — it has shown that the priestly rank does not 
remain with the ancient circumcised priesthood. (7) It was transferred 
to [a priesthood] before Levi and before Aaron, the priesthood after the 
order of Melchizedek, which now, since the Lord’s incarnation, resides in 
the church. The seed is no longer chosen [for priesthood] because of a 
succession; a type is looked for, because of virtue. 

3,1 For the first uncircumcised priesthood is reckoned through Abel; 
after that, moreover, through Noah. But a third [such priesthood] is reck- 
oned through Melchizedek, who did not serve God by circumcision but by 
perfect righteousness and virtue, and with body uncircumcised. (2) And 
that Melchizedek was a man, God’s holy apostle himself will show in his 
epistle. For he says, “He whose descent is not counted from them received 
tithes of the patriarch.” * 11 It is plain that his descent is not traced from 
them, but from others. 

3,3 And of how many others is the ancestry not expressly given? 
Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Elijah the Tishbite — neither their 
fathers nor their mothers are found anywhere in any of the covenanted 
scriptures. But so that no error arises from this, it will do no harm to 
say what I have learned from tradition myself. (4) For I have found that 
Daniel’s father was a man called Sabaan. And I have likewise actually 
found Elijah’s lineage, and shall trace it in order: (5) Elijah the Tishbite 

9 Cf. Gen 10:18. 

10 2 Cor 10:5. 

11 Heb 7:6. 



was the brother of Jehoiada the priest. He too was supposedly of priestly 
descent and was the son of Ahinoam. But Ahinoam was the son of Zadok, 
and Zadok the son of Ahitub the son of Amoriah. Amoriah was the son of 
Razaza, Razaza of Ahaziah, and Ahaziah of Phineas. Phineas was the son 
of Eleazar, and Eleazar was the son of Aaron, plainly Aaron the [high] - 
priest. Aaron was the son of Amram, Amram of Cohath, Cohath of Levi, 
and Levi was the third son of Jacob. But Jacob was the brother of Esau and 
the son of Isaac, and Isaac was the son of Abraham. 

3,6 But the genealogies of these persons are by no means plainly set 
forth in the canonical scriptures — just parts of the subject as it pertains 
to Elijah, in Chronicles. 12 However I have simply not found the fathers 
of the three children, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, either in tra- 
ditions or in apocryphal works. (7) What about that? Will they too — 
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego — delude us into drawing wrong infer- 
ences, wondering far too much about each [one’s] lineage, and concluding 
that they have no fathers and mothers? Let’s hope not! (8) Apostolic tra- 
ditions, holy scriptures and successions of teachers have been made our 
boundaries and foundations for the upbuilding of our faith, 13 and God’s truth 
has been protected in every way. No one need be deceived by worthless 

4,1 But to return to the subject, the things they imagine about 
Melchizedek. It is plain that this righteous man was holy, a priest of God, 
and the king of Salem, but he was no part of the < order > in heaven, 
and has not come down from heaven. (2) “No man hath ascended up to 
heaven save he that came down from heaven, the Son of Man,” 14 says the 
holy divine Word who tells no lies. 

4,3 For when the sacred scripture proclaimed, and the Holy Spirit 
expressly taught, the order of Melchizedek, they indicated the removal of 
the priesthood from the ancient synagogue and the < physical* > nation to 
a nation which is the finest and best, and which is not united by a com- 
mon physical descent. (4) For this holy Melchizedek had no successors, 
but neither did he suffer the abolition of his priesthood. He remained a 
priest himself throughout his life and is still celebrated as a priest in the 
scripture, since no one either succeeded him or abolished the priesthood 
which he had during his time of service. (5) Thus our Lord too — though 

12 Cf. 1 Chron 6:3-5. 

13 Codex Urbinas, Codex Marcianus, Delahaye sig oixoSopojv, Holl xori oixoSopj. 

14 John 3:13. 



he was not a man but the holy divine Word of God, God’s Son begot- 
ten without beginning and not in time, ever with the Father but for our 
sakes become man, of Mary and not of a man’s seed — our Lord, < receiv- 
ing* > the priesthood, offers to the Father, having taken human clay so 
as to be made a priest for us after the order of Melchizedek, which has 
no succession. (6) For he abides forever, offering gifts for us — after first 
offering himself through the cross, to abolish every sacrifice of the old cov- 
enant by presenting the more perfect, living sacrifice for the whole world. 
(7) He himself is temple, he himself sacrifice, himself priest, altar, God, 
man, king, high-priest, lamb, sacrificial victim — become all in all for us 
that life may be ours in every way, and in order to lay the changeless 
foundation of his priesthood forever, no longer allotting it by descent and 
succession, but granting that, in accordance with his ordinance, it may be 
preserved in the Holy Spirit. 

5.1 Others in their turn say < other > imaginary < things > about this 
Melchizedek. (Since they lack a spiritual understanding of the things the 
holy apostle said in this same Epistle to the Hebrews, they have been 
condemned by a fleshly sentence.) (2) The Egyptian heresiarch Hieracas 
believes that this Melchizedek is the Holy Spirit 15 because of “made like 
unto the Son of God he abideth a priest continually,” 16 (3) as though this 
is to be interpreted by the holy apostle’s “The Spirit maketh intercession 
for us with groanings that cannot be uttered.” 17 

Anyone who understands the mind of the Spirit knows that he inter- 
cedes with God for the elect. 18 But Hieracas too has gone entirely off the 
track. (4) The Spirit never assumed flesh. And not having assumed flesh, 
he could not be king of Salem and priest of anywhere. (5) In time, how- 
ever, when 1 compose the refutation of Hieracas and his sect, 1 shall dis- 
cuss this at length; for now, 1 shall resume the order of presentation. 

6.1 But how many other fancies do others have about this Melchizedek! 
Samaritans believe that he is Noah’s son Shem, 19 but it will be found that 
they too are absurd. (2) The sacred scripture, which secures everything 
with due order, has confirmed the truth in every respect; not for nothing 

15 So at Jer. Ep. 73.1.1-2; also at 2.1, where Jerome attributes the idea to Origen and his 
follower Didymus. Cf. Chrysost. De Melch. 3; Cyr. Alex. Glaph. In Gen. 1.2.7. 

16 Heb 7:3. 

17 Rom 8:26. 

18 Rom 8:26 and cf. 8:27. 

19 Jer. Ep. 73.5.4; Quaest. Hebraicae in Gen 1, PL 23, 961; Comment. Ad Isa. 41, PL 24,4416. 
At 2 Enoch 71-72 Melchizedek is the son of Noah's brother Nir. 



has it listed the time periods, and enumerated the years of each patri- 
arch’s life and succession. 

6,3 For when Abraham was about eighty-eight or even ninety, 
Melchizedek met him and served him loaves and wine, prefiguring the 
symbols of the mysteries: (4) types < of the Lord’s body >, since our Lord 
< himself > says, “I am the living bread” 20 ; and of the blood which flowed 
from his side for the cleansing of the defiled, and the sprinkling and salva- 
tion of our souls. 

6,5 Now when he became the father of Abraham, Abraham’s father 
Terah was seventy years old, and that made about 160 years. Nahor fathered 
Terah at the age of seventy-nine, and that made 239 years. Serug fathered 
Nahor at the age of 130, and that made 369 years. (6) Reu fathered Serug 
when he was 132, and that came to the five hundred and first year. Peleg 
fathered Reu when he was 130, and that made 631 years. Eber fathered 
Peleg in the hundred and thirty-fourth year of his life, and that made 
765 years. 

6,7 Shelah fathered Eber in the two hundred thirtieth year of his life, 
and that made 895 years. Cainan fathered Shelah in the hundred ninth 
year of his life, and that made 1004 years. Arphaxad was 135 when he 
fathered Cainan, and that made 1139 years. (8) And the Shem we spoke 
of, whom the Samaritans imagine to be Melchizedek, fathered Arphaxad 
in the hundred second year of his life, and altogether there were 1241 years 
until the time of Abraham, when he met Melchizedek on his return from 
the slaughter of the kings Amraphel, Arioch, Chedorlaomer and Tidal. 

6,9 But Shem did not live that many years, as their foolish imagina- 
tion would have it. Lie was 102 when he became the father of Arphaxad, 
in the second year after the flood. “And after that he lived 500 years,” 
as the sacred scripture says, “and begat sons and daughters, and died.” 21 
(10) Now then, if he lived for 602 years and then died, how could he reach 
the age of 1241 so that, after ten generations and 1241 years, they can 
call Shem the son of Noah, who lived ten generations before Abraham, 
Melchizedek? How greatly people can go wrong! 

6,11 But if we go by the figure in other copies, there are about 628 years 
from the date of Shem’s birth until the time of Abraham’s meeting with 
Melchizedek, in the eighty-eighth or ninetieth year of Abraham’s life. Thus 

20 John 6:51. 

21 Cf. Gen 11:11. 



on no account can Shem have lived until Abraham’s time, to be thought 
of as Melchizedek. And the Samaritans’ jabber also is all wrong. 

7.1 In their turn, the Jews say that Melchizedek was righteous, good 
and the priest of the Most High, as the sacred scripture says, but that 
since he was the son of a harlot his mother’s name is not recorded, and his 
father is not known. (2) But their silly assertion too has failed. Rahab was 
a harlot, and she is in scripture. Zimri is in scripture too although he com- 
mitted fornication, and Cozbi with him, even though she was a foreigner 
and not of Israelite descent. < For the Savior receives harlots, if only they 
repent through him* >. And as the holy Gospel said, “Whoso entereth not 
by the door is a thief and not a shepherd.” 22 

7,3 But some who are actually in the church put this Melchizedek in 
various categories. Some suppose that he is the actual Son of God, 23 and 
appeared to Abraham then in the form of a man. (4) But they too have 
gone off the track; no one will ever become "like” himself. As the sacred 
scripture says, “made Like unto the Son of God he abideth a priest con- 
tinually.” 24 (5) Indeed “He whose descent is not counted of them received 
tithes of Abraham;” 25 for since his descent is not counted from the Israel- 
ites themselves, it is counted from other people. (6) Having listed all these 
errors < which > I recall because of this sect, I describe them as though in 

8.1 This sect makes its offerings in Melchizedek’s name, and says that 
it is he who conducts us to God 26 and that we must offer to God through 
him because he is an archon of righteousness 27 ordained in heaven by 
God for this very purpose, a spiritual being and appointed to God’s priest- 
hood. (2) And we must make offerings to him, they say, so that they may 
be offered through him on our behalf, 28 and through him we may attain 
to life. (3) Christ too was chosen, they say, to summon us from many ways 

22 John 10:1. 

23 Cf. NHC Melch. 25,4-26,4 “And [you crucified me] from the third hour [of the 
Sabbath-eve] until [the ninth hour]. And after [these things I arose] from the dead. My 
body] came out of [the tomb] to me. [. . . they did not] find anyone . . . They said to me, Be 
[strong, 0 Melchizedek]] great [High Priest] of God [Most High].” See also 2 En. J 71.37, 
where Christ seems to be identified with Melchizedek. 

24 Heb 7:3. 

25 Heb 7:6. 

26 Perhaps cf. n. 2. 

27 oipxwv earl St>cato<TUVv]7. At 2 En. J. 71.29 Melchizedek is “the priest to all holy priests, 
the head of the priests of the future.” 

28 For a comparable idea about offering see Pan 26,9,7. 



to this one knowledge. He was anointed by God and made his elect, for he 
turned us from idols and showed us the way. After that the apostle was 
sent and revealed Melchizedek’s greatness to us, and that he remains a 
priest forever. (4) And see how great he is, and that the lesser is blessed by 
the greater. (5) And thus, they say, Melchizedek also blessed the patriarch 
Abraham, since he was greater [than Abraham]. And we are his initiates, 
so that we too may be recipients of his blessing. 

9,1 And how worthless all the sects’ notions are! See here, these too 
have denied their Master who “bought them with his own blood” 29 — 
(2) whose existence does not date from Mary as they suppose, but who is 
ever with the Father as the divine Word, begotten of the Father without 
beginning and not in time, as every scripture says. It was to him, not to 
Melchizedek, that the Father said, “Let us make man in our image and 
after our likeness.” 30 

9,3 For even though Melchizedek was priest of God Most High in 
his own generation and had no successors, he did not come down from 
heaven. (4) The scripture said, not that he brought bread and wine down, 
but that he brought them out to Abraham and his companions as though 
from his palace, 31 to show the patriarch hospitality 32 as he passed through 
his country. And he blessed Abraham for his righteousness, faithfulness 
and piety. (5) For though the patriarch had been tried in everything, in 
nothing had he lost his righteousness, but here too he had God’s assis- 
tance against the kings who had attacked Sodom < like bandits > 33 and 
carried off his nephew, the holy Lot. And he brought him back, with all 
the booty and spoil. 

9,6 Where can we not find proof that < the > Son was always with 
the Father? For “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was 
with God, and the Word was God;” 34 it did not say, “In the beginning 
was Melchizedek,” or, “And Melchizedek was God.” (7) And again, “The 
Lord came to Abraham, and the Lord rained fire and brimstone from the 
Lord upon Sodom and Gomorrah. 35 And the apostle himself said, “One 

29 Cf. Acts 20:28; 1 Cor 6:20; 7:23. 

30 Gen 1:26. 

31 Klostermann, MSS (3c«7iXe1cov, Holl. paaikccov. 

32 Klostermann, Codex Marcianus dnoSslidfiEvoi;, Holl and other MSS diroSsliogEvos. 

33 Holl: Xr)OTpncw?, MSS dXr] 0 w$. 

34 John 1:1. 

35 Gen 19:24. 



God, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all 
things.” 36 

9,8 And lest someone say, “Well then, where is the Spirit, since he 
speaks of ‘one’ and ‘one’?” — the Spirit must not act as its own guarantor. 37 
For the sacred scripture is always preserved to serve as an example for 
us. The apostle was speaking in the Holy Spirit and saying, “One God, of 
whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.” 
He was in the Spirit saying this, for the intent was not to make the Trinity 
deficient, (g) But the Lord himself plainly says, “Go baptize all nations in 
the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. 38 And the 
apostle says in his turn, “One is the Spirit, dividing to every man as he will 
to profit withal.” 39 

9,10 There you are then, the Father! The Son! The Holy Spirit! And 
nowhere does it say of Melchizedek that < he is resident > in the gifts or in 
the heights. 40 There is no point in these people’s yapping about the false- 
hoods and fictions of the stumbling blocks they encounter — not things 
that originate in the truth, but in the hissing of the dragon itself, with his 
ability to deceive and mislead each sect. 

g,n Again, I have heard that some, who are further afield than all of 
these and are excited by further pride of intellect, have dared to resort to 
an unthinkable idea and arrive at a blasphemous notion, and say that this 
same Melchizedek is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (12) What care- 
less minds men have, and what deceived hearts, with no place for truth! 
Since the apostle says that Melchizedek has no father and mother and is 
without lineage, these people have gone wrong because of the sublim- 
ity of the expression, have < foolishly* > supposed < that what is said of 
Melchizedek* > corresponds with the Father of all, and have imagined a 
blasphemous imposture. 

9,13 For because God the almighty, the Father of all, has no father, 
mother, beginning of days or end of life — for this is admitted by every- 
one — they have fallen into foolish blasphemy by likening Melchizedek 

36 1 Cor 8:6. 

37 I.e., as the Speaker in the scriptures the Holy Spirit should not expressly commend 
himself, since this would be a bad example for humankind. Cf. 57,5,7. 

38 Matt 28:19. 

39 1 Cor 12:11. 

40 Holl: ep7ioXiT£UETai MSS: ScopeiTai. 



to him because the apostle has spoken of Melchizedek in this way, not 
noticing the other things that are said about him. (14) For it is said of 
Melchizedek that “He was priest of God Most High.” 41 Now assuming that 
Melchizedek is the Most High and the Father, then, as the priest of another 
“Most High,” he cannot be the Father of all himself-serving another Most 
High as priest. 

9.15 Such confusion on people’s part, that will not perceive truth but 
is bent on error! To give the final solution of the entire problem, the holy 
apostle said, “He whose descent is not counted from them " — obviously 
not; but it was counted from others — “received tithes of Abraham.” 42 And 
again, he said, “who, in the days of his flesh, offered up supplications and 
prayers to him that was able to save him” 43 — but it is plain that < the > 
Father did not assume flesh. 

9.16 But now that we have discussed them sufficiently too, let us leave 
this sect, for we have struck it with the firm faith and its foundation, as 
though we had hit a mousing viper with a rock and avoided its deadly 
poison. For they say that the mousing viper does no immediate harm 
to the one it bites, but that in time it destroys his body and infects its 
victim with leprosy in every limb. (17) Similarly, if this heresy is 
< implanted* > in their minds it < does* > people no apparent < harm > 
when they first hear of these things. But the long-term effect of the words is 
to sink into their minds, raise questions, and, as it were, cause the destruc- 
tion of those who have not happened on the remedy of this antidote — the 
refutation of this heresy, and the counter-argument to it which I have 

9,18 The mousing viper is not readily seen; it is active at night and does 
its harm at that time, especially in Egypt. Thus those who do not know the 
beast must realize that, when 1 compared it with the harm that is done by 
this sect, I did not bring up the subject of the beast lightly, or as a slander; 
it does this sort of injury. (19) But I shall move on to the others next, so as 
to thank God for the privilege of keeping my promise in God. 

41 Gen 14:18. 

42 Heb 7:6. 

43 Heb 5:7. 



Against Bardesianists 1 36, but 56 of the series 

1,1 Their successor was a person named Bardesanes. This Bardesanes, the 
founder of the Bardesianist sect, was Mesopotamian and a native of the 
city of Edessa. 2 (2) He was the finest sort of man at first, and while his 
mind was sound composed no few treatises. 3 For originally he belonged 
to God’s holy church, and he was learned in the two languages, Greek 
and Syriac. 4 

1,3 At first he became friends with the ruler of Edessa, Abgar, 5 a 
very holy and learned man, and assisted him while taking a hand in his 
education. He survived after Abgar’s death until the time of Antoninus 
Caesar — not Antoninus Pius, but Antoninus Verus. 6 (4) He argued at 
length against fate < in reply to > the astrologer Abidas, and there are 
other works of his which are in accord with the godly faith. 7 

1,5 He defied Antoninus’ companion Apollonius besides, by refusing 
to say that he had denied that he called himself a Christian. He nearly 
became a martyr, and in a courageous defense of godliness replied that 
the wise do not fear death, which would come of necessity, < he said >, 
even if he did not oppose the emperor. (6) And thus the man was loaded 
with every honor until he came to grief over the error of his own sect 
and became like the finest ship, which was filled with a priceless cargo 
and [then] wrecked beside the cliffs of its harbor, losing all its freight and 
occasioning the deaths of its other passengers as well. 

2,1 For he unfortunately fell in with Valentinians, drew this poison and 
tare from their unsound doctrine, and taught this heresy by introducing 
many first principles and emanations himself, and denying the resurrec- 
tion of the dead. 8 

1 Epiphanius’ most likely source for this Sect is Eus. H. E. 4.30.1-3, although his memory 
of it is faulty. Other accounts are found at Eus. Praep. Ev. 6.9.32; Hippol. Haer. 7.31.1; Jer. 
Adv. Jov. 2.14. 

2 Hippolytus makes him an Armenian, Haer. 7.31.1; Julius Africanus, a Parthian, 29; 
Porphyrius, a Babylonian, De Abst. 4.17. 

3 Cf. Eus H. E. 4.30.1. 

4 Cf. Eus H. E. 4.30.1. 

5 Abgar IV Manu. See Holl-Dummer II p. 338. 

6 Epiphanius means Marcus Aurelius, but the emperor under whom Bardesanes flour- 
ished would have been Caracalla or Elagabalus. 

7 Portions of the Book of the Laws of the Lands, which is apparently Bardesanes' work 
against astrology, seem to be preserved at Eus. Praep. Ev. 5.9. 

8 Eusebius says that Bardesanes was an ex-Valentinian who later wrote against this 
view, though he never abandoned it altogether, H. E. 4.30.3. Epiph conjectures the teaching 



2,2 He uses the Law and the Prophets and the Old and the New Testa- 
ments, besides certain apocrypha. (3) But he too, like all his predecessors 
and successors, will be confounded because he has separated himself from 
the truth and, as it were, from a brightly shining lamp turned into soot. 

2,4 I have already spoken of the resurrection of the dead in many Sects; 
however, it will do no harm to say a few words once more in my refutation 
of this man. (5) For if you accept the Old Testament, Mister, and the New 
Testament too, how can you not be convicted of corrupting the way of the 
truth and separating yourself from the Lord’s true life? 

2,6 For < it is plain > that, to become the earnest of our resurrection 
and the firstborn from the dead, the Lord himself first died for us and rose 
again. (7) And he did not suffer simply in appearance; he was buried, and 
they bore his body to the grave. Joseph of Arimathea bears witness, and 
the women bear witness who brought the unguents to the tomb and the 
hundred pounds’ weight of ointment, that this was no phantom or appari- 
tion . (8) The angels who appeared to the women are also witnesses that 
“He is risen, he is not here; why seek ye the living among the dead?” 9 (9) 
And they did not say that he had not died, but that he had risen — he who 
suffered in the flesh but lives forever in the Spirit, and who, in his native 
Godhead, is impassible; he who is eternally begotten of the Father on high, 
but in the last days was pleased to be made man of the Virgin Mary, as St. 
Paul testifies by saying, “made of a woman, made under the Law.” 10 

2.10 Haven’t you yet heard the text, “This corruptible must put on 
incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality?” * 11 Hasn’t the 
prophet Isaiah convinced you by saying, “And the dead shall arise, and 
they that are in the graves shall be raised up?” 12 And the Lord himself, by 
saying, “And these shall be raised to life eternal, and these to everlasting 
punishment?” 13 

2.11 Or don’t you remember Abel’s conversation with God after his 
death, and how it doesn’t say that his soul intercedes and cries out to 
God, but that his blood does? But blood is not soul; the soul is in the 
blood. (12) For the visible blood is body, but the soul resides invisibly in 

of “first principles and emanations” from Eus.’ mention of Bardesanes' Valentinian con- 

9 Cf. Luke 24:5-6. 

10 Gal 4:4. 

11 1 Cor. 15:53. 

12 Isa 26:19. 

13 Cf. Matt 25:46. 



the blood. And your wrong belief is confounded from every standpoint, 
Bardesanes, for it is demolished by the truth itself. 

3,1 But since I have spoken at length on the topic of many first prin- 
ciples, against those who say that there are such things, I shall not make 
my discussion of this here a long one. As though in < passing >, however, 
I shall mention how the holy apostle says, “To us God the Father is one, 
of whom are all things and we in him; and the Lord Jesus Christ is one, by 
whom are all things and we by him.” 14 (2) How can there be a plurality of 
gods and many first principles if “Our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all 
things and we by him, is one?” There is therefore one creator, not many 
gods or many aeons. For Paul said, “If there be many so-called gods;” 15 
(3) but he pronounced them “so-called” as though speaking < of > beings 
which have no existence. But because of the so-called gods of the Greeks, 
the ones they have made gods of — the sun and moon, the stars and the 
like — he made this declaration, and ruled out the notion of all who have 
fallen into error. 

3,4 Now since the sound faith is preserved in every way as the support 
and the salvation of the faithful, the nonsensical inventions of all the sects 
have been overthrown. So has this man, overthrown, made of himself a 
pitiable object and banished himself from life. (5) For the prophet tells 
God’s holy church, “I will make thy stone a coal of fire, and thy founda- 
tions sapphire, and thy walls precious stones, and thy battlements jasper.” 16 
Then, afterwards, he says, “Every voice that rises up against thee, thou 
shalt overcome them all. Against thee it shall not prevail.” 17 (6) Noth- 
ing will prevail against the true faith, since “She is founded on the rock,” 
and, as her king, bridegroom, Lord and Master, the holy divine Word, has 
promised her, “The gates of hell shall not prevail against her.” 18 To him, 
the Father in the Son with the Holy Spirit, be glory, honor and might for- 
ever and ever. Amen. 

3,7 But since this sect too has been trampled underfoot, < let it lie* >, 
struck with the wood of life, like a head [cut off] from a piece of a snake 
and still wriggling. < But > let us ourselves give thanks to God, beloved, 
and proceed once more to the examination of the rest. 

14 1 Cor 8:6. 

15 1 Cor 8:5. 

16 Isa 54:11-12. 

17 Cf. Isa 54:17. 

18 Matt 16:18. 



Against Noetians 1 37, but 57 of the series 

1,1 Another one, whose name was Noetus, arose in his turn after Barde- 
sanes, not many years ago but about r3o years before our time, 2 an Asian 
from the city of Ephesus. 3 (2) 4 By the inspiration of a strange spirit he 
chose to say and teach things on his own authority which neither the 
prophets nor the apostles < had proclaimed >, and which the church from 
the beginning had neither held nor conceived of. On his own authority he 
dared to say, with manic elation, that the Father suffered. (3) And then, 
from further delirious conceit he called himself Moses, and his brother, 
Aaron. 5 

r,4 In the meantime, however, the blessed presbyters of the church 
sent for Noetus because of the rumor about him, and questioned him 
about all these things, and whether he had put forth this blasphemy of 
the Father. 6 (5) At first he denied it when brought before the presbytery, 
since no one before him had belched out this frightful, deadly bitterness. 
(6) But later, after, as it were, infecting certain others with his madness 
and winning about ten men over, inspired to greater pride and insolence 
< and > grown bold, he began to teach his heresy openly. (7) The same 
presbyters summoned him once more, and the men who unfortunately 
had become acquainted with him, and asked again about the same things. 
(8) But now, with his followers in error, Noetus struck his forehead and 
openly opposed them. “What wrong have I done,” he demanded, “because 
I glorify one God? 7 I know one God and none other besides him, and he 
has been born, has suffered, and has died!” 8 

r,g Since he held to this they expelled him from the church, with the 
men he had instructed in his own doctrine. He himself has died recently 
as has his brother, but not in glory like Moses; nor was his brother buried 

1 Epiphanius’ source for this Sect is Hippolytus’ tractate, Contra Noetum, which is 
taken by Pourkier, Hilgenfeld and Lipsius as the last chapter of Hippolytus' Syntagma, by 
Schwarz and others as part of an Hippolytean homily. Noetus is also discussed at Filast. 
Haer. 53; Hippol. Haer. 9.2.7-10; 10.27. 

2 “Not many years ago” comes from Hippol. C. Noet. 1; Epiph has inserted the rest. 

3 Hippol. C. Noet. 1; Filast Haer. 53. 

4 1,2 is paraphrased from Hippol. C. Noet. 1. 

5 Cf. Hippol. C. Noet. 1; Filast. Haer. 53. 

6 Noetus’ examination before the “blessed presbyters” — terminology which is rather 
unusual for Epiphanius — comes from Hippol. C. Noet. 1. 

7 With all of this cf. Hippol. C. Noet. 1. 

8 The formula, and the excommunication of Noetus, are taken from Hippol. C. Noet. 1. 



with honor like Aaron. They were cast out as transgressors, and none of 
the godly would lay them out for burial. 

r,ro Those whose minds he had corrupted confirmed this doctrine after- 
wards under the influence of the following texts, which had influenced 
their false teacher to begin with, (rr) 9 (For when he said under question- 
ing by the presbytery that he glorified one God, they told him truthfully, 
“We too glorify one God, but in the way we know is right. ( 12 ) And we 
hold that Christ is one, but as we know the one Christ — the Son of God 
who suffered as he suffered, died as he died, has risen, has ascended into 
heaven, is at the right hand of the Father, will come to judge the quick 
and the dead. We say these things because we have learned them from 
the sacred scriptures, which we also know.”) 

2,r 10 Those, then, who are offshoots of Noetus himself, and those who 
derive from them, make much of this doctrine, and try to establish their 
insane teaching from the following texts. Among them are God’s words 
to Moses, “I am the God of your fathers. I am the first and I am the last. 
Thou shalt have none other gods,” and so on. * 11 (2) They said accordingly, 
“We therefore know him alone. If Christ came and was born, he himself is 
the Father; he himself is the Son. Thus the same God is the God who < is > 
forever, and who has now come — (3) as the scripture says, ‘This is thy 
God, none other shall be accounted God besides him. He hath found out 
every way of understanding and given it to Jacob his servant and Israel his 
beloved. Afterwards he appeared on earth and consorted with men.’ 12 (4) 
Again, they say, “do you see how, by saying that God himself is < the > only 
God and appeared later himself, the sacred scriptures give us the wisdom 
not to believe first in one God and then in another?” 

2,5 13 Again, they make use of this further text: “Egypt hath wearied 
and the merchandise of the Ethiopians, and the lofty men of Saba shall 
pass over unto thee and be thy servants. And they shall walk behind 
thee bound with chains, and shall bow down to thee and pray through 
thee — for in thee is God and there is no God beside thee — Thou art God 
and we knew it not, O God of Israel, the Savior.” 14 (6) “Do you see,” they 

9 1,11-12 closely follow Hippol C. Noet. 2. 

10 2,1-3 closely follow Hippol. C. Noet. 2. 

11 Cf. Exod 3:6; Isa 44:6; Exod 20:3. 

12 Baruch 3:36-38. 

13 2,5~7a closely follow Hippol. C. Noet. 2-3. 

14 Isa 45:14-15. 



say, “how the sacred scriptures state that God is one, and declare that he 
< has become > visible? And he is admittedly one, forever the same. (7) We 
therefore say that there are not many gods but one God, the same Impas- 
sible, himself the Father of the Son and himself the Son, who has suffered 
to save us by his suffering. And we cannot say that there is another” — 
having supposedly learned this confession of faith, and this impious con- 
jecture and ruinous madness, from their master. 

2,8 15 Next they cite other texts in their support — as their teacher said, 
“The apostle also bears witness in the following words and says, “Whose 
are the fathers, of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over 
all, God blessed for evermore. Amen.’” 16 (g) But their account [of Christ] 
is as one-sided as Theodotus’. Theodotus actually went to one extreme and 
described him as a mere man. Noetus has one-sidedly described another 
extreme in his own turn, with his belief that the same God the Father is 
both the Son and the Holy Spirit, and that he has suffered in the flesh, and 
been born. (10) Theodotus’ followers have not told the truth, then, and 
neither have this “Brainy” (No’^Tcq) — “Brainless,” actually — and his, since 
the sacred scriptures refute them both, and all the erring. 

3,1 To anyone whose mind is < sound* > in God, and who is enlight- 
ened in sacred scripture and the Holy Spirit, their argument will appear 
easy to refute and full of all sorts of nonsense. (2) The idea of claiming 
that the Father, the Son, and the One who suffered are the same, is the 
result of impudence and is < full > of blindness. 17 (3) How can the same 
person be father and son [at once]? If he is a son he must be the son of 
some person by whom he has been begotten. (4) But if he is a father, 
he cannot possibly beget himself. In turn something called a son didn’t 
beget itself; it was begotten by a father. How crazy people are, with their 
fallacious reasoning! (5) For the fact is that the logical conclusion is not 
as they suppose, but as the truth tells us through the sacred scripture. 
The Lord states it at once by saying, “Lo, my beloved Son shall understand, 
he whom I have chosen, whom my soul hath loved. I will put my Spirit 
upon him.” 18 (6) And you see how the Father’s voice declares that there 
is an actual Son upon whom he is putting his Spirit. (7) Next the Only- 
begotten himself says, “Glorify thou me, Father, with the glory which I had 

15 2,8-10 closely follows Hippol. C. Noet. 2-3. 

16 Rom 9:5. 

17 The first half of this sentence is paraphrased from Hippol. C. Noet. 3. 

18 Cf. Isa 42:1; Matt 12:18. 



with thee before the world was.” 19 But someone who says, “Father, glorify 
me,” is not calling himself father; he knows that the "father” is his father. 
(8) And again, in another passage, “There came a voice from heaven, This 
is my Son; hear ye him.” 20 And it did not say, “I am my Son, hear me,” or 
again, “I have become a Son,” but, “This is my Son; hear him.” 

3,9 And when he said, “I and the Father are one,” 21 he did not say, 
“I and the Father am one,” but, “I and the Father are one.” 22 “I and the 
Father,” with the definite article, and with “and” in the middle, means that 
the Father is actually a father, and the Son actually a son. 

4,1 And of the Holy Spirit, in turn, he says, “If 1 depart he shall come, 
the Spirit of truth.” 23 This statement, “I am going and he is coming,” is 
by far the clearest. Christ did not say, “I am going and / shall come,” but 
with “1” and “he” showed that the Son is subsistent and the Holy Spirit is 
subsistent. (2) And again, “The Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the 
Father and receiveth of the Son” 24 is intended to show that the Father 
is subsistent, the Son is subsistent, and the Holy Spirit is subsistent. 
(3) And again, at the Jordan the Father spoke from above, the Son stepped 
into the Jordan, and the Spirit appeared between them in the form of a 
dove and came upon the Son, even though the Spirit had not taken flesh 
or assumed a body. (4) But to avoid giving the impression that the Spirit 
is identical with the Son, the Holy Spirit is portrayed in the form of a 
dove, to ensure the perception of the Spirit as truly subsistent. (5) But 
where else can 1 not find other arguments against these people who have 
infected themselves with insanity? If there is any truth in their notion, 
and in their worthless argument with no proof or force and no coherent 
reasoning or meaning, the scriptures will have to be discarded 25 — the 
scriptures, which on every page know the Father as a father, the Son as a 
son, and the Holy Spirit as a holy spirit. 

4,6 But what do you mean, Mister? Can those who truly worship the 
Trinity be polytheists, the sons of the truth and of the only apostolic and 
catholic church? That is not so! (7) Who will not say that the God of truth 
is one, the Father almighty, the Source of the Only-begotten Son who is 

19 John 17:5. 

20 Matt 17:5. 

21 John 10:30. 

22 Hippolytus uses this argument at C. Noet. 9. 

23 Cf. John 16:7. 

24 John 15:26; 16:13; 14. 

25 djTofAvpeai, not an Epiphanian word. Epiphanius is paraphrasing Hippol. C. Noet. 3. 



truly the divine Word, a Word subsistent, truly begotten of the Father 
without beginning and not in time? (8) Hence the church proclaims with 
certainty that God is one, a Father and a Son: “I am in the Father, and the 
Father in me, and we two are one” 26 — that is, one Godhead, one will, and 
one dominion. 

4,9 From the Father himself the Spirit also proceeds — subsistent and 
truly perfect, the Spirit of truth, who enlightens all, who receives of the 
Son, the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of Christ. (10) The church, then, 
knows one Godhead. There is one God, the Father of truth, a Father who 
is perfect and subsistent; and a Son who is a perfect Son and subsistent; 
and a Holy Spirit who is a perfect Holy Spirit and a subsistent — one 
Godhead, one sovereignty, one dominion, (n) Thus the sacred scriptures 
have everywhere plainly declared that God is one — that is, a co-essential 
Trinity, forever of the same Godhead, the same dominion. 

4,12 And your brainless argument has collapsed, in all respects, Brainy! 
And now that this has been said, and in direct contradiction to Brainy’s 
allegations, it is time to examine these from the beginning and to counter 
his propositions, as follows. 27 

5,1 First, since he advanced the proposition, “ ‘God is one, of whom are 
all things and we in him, and the Lord Jesus Christ is one, for whom are 
all things and we by him,’ ” 28 don’t you see how, by saying, “God is one, of 
whom are all things and we for him?” 29 Paul is pointing out the oneness 
of the first principle so as not to direct attention to many first principles 
and lead men’s minds, [already] deceived about the nonsense of polythe- 
ism, back to a plurality of gods. (2) For do you see how he has used one 
name and one title, but without denying the Only-begotten God? For he 
knows that he is Lord and knows that he is God; and he says, to certify 
this, “And one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.” 

5,3 However, by saying this of the Lord he did not mean that the Father 
and the Son are the same, but showed that the Father is truly a father and 
the Son truly a son. (4) For when he said “one God” of the Father, < he 
did > not < say it > to deny the Godhead of the Son. (For if the Son is not 
God he is not “Lord” either; but as he is “Lord,” he is also God.) Though 
the holy apostle was compelled by the Holy Spirit to refer to one title, he 

26 John 14:10; 10:30. 

27 This transition is paraphrased from Hippol. C. Noet. 3. 

28 1 Cor 8:6. 

29 1 Cor 8:6. 



explained the faith for us by stating clearly that Christ is “one Lord,” and 
so must surely be God. 

5,5 But because he says, "one,” and [then] “one” [again, but does not 
say “one” a third time], no one need think that he has left the number 
of the Trinity unmentioned by failing to name the Holy Spirit. When 
he named the Father and the Son “God” and “Lord,” he named them in 
the Holy Spirit. (6) For by saying, “God is one, of whom are all things,” of 
the Father, he did not deny the Father’s Lordship; nor, again, did he deny 
Christ’s Godhead by saying, “and one Lord Jesus Christ” (7) As he was con- 
tent with the one title in the Father’s case, and said “one God” although 
it is plain that “Lord” is implied by “God” — so, in the case of the Son, he 
was content with “one Lord,” but “God” is implied by “Lord.” (8) Thus he 
did not jettison the Holy Spirit by mentioning [only] “Father” and “Son;” 
as I said, he spoke in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit never < speaks* > in 
commendation of himself, or he might set us an example < of speaking* > 
of ourselves and commending < ourselves >. (g) Thus “God the Father, of 
whom are all things, is one, and the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all 
things, is one.” And the Holy Spirit is one, not different from God and still 
subsistent, because he is Spirit of God, Spirit of truth, Spirit of the Father, 
and Spirit of Christ. 

6,i 30 But I suppose we also need to speak of “Egypt hath wearied, and 
the merchandise of the Ethiopians. And the lofty men of Saba shall pass 
over unto thee and be thy servants. They shall walk behind thee, bound 
with chains. They shall bow down to thee and pray through thee — for in 
thee is God and there is no God beside thee — For thou art God and we 
knew it not, O God, the God of Israel, the Savior.” 31 (2) Noetus will say, 
“From so many texts that I’ve shown you, don’t you see that God is one?” 
But not understanding what has been said, he villainously mutilates the 
scriptures, gives crooked explanations, cites the lines out of sequence and 
does not quote them consistently and exactly — he or the Noetians who 
stem from him — or expound them in order. (3) As some < will name > 
a bad dog “Leo,” call the totally blind keen-sighted, and say that gall is 
candy — and as some have termed vinegar honey, and some have named 
the Furies the Eumenides — so it is with this man and his followers. (4) He 
has been named Brainy, but he is brainless as are his brainless followers, 
and he has no idea of the consequences of his statements and their asser- 

30 6,1-2 closely follow Hippol. C. Noet. 4. 

31 Isa 45:14-15. 



tions. To them the holy apostle’s words, “Understanding neither what they 
say nor whereof they affirm,” 32 are applicable. 

7,i 33 For you see what the sacred scriptures said earlier on, brothers, 
or rather, what the Lord himself said, as we read at the beginning of the 
passage. It is from this that we must explain the whole of the truth in the 
passage itself, and the whole of the subject of it. We read, (2) "Inquire of 
me concerning my sons and my daughters, and < concerning > the works 
of my hands command ye me. I made the earth and man upon it; with 
my hand I established the heavens. I gave commandment to all the stars; 
I raised up a king with righteousness, and all his paths are straight. He 
shall build my city and restore my captivity, not with ransoms nor with 
gifts; the Lord of hosts hath spoken.” 34 (3) Only then does he say, “Egypt 
hath wearied and the merchandise of the Ethiopians,” and so on [until] 
“that God is in thee.” 35 

7,4 But in whom, should we say? In whom but the Father’s Word? For 
the divine Word is truly the Son, and the Father is known in him, as he 
says, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” 36 and, “I have glorified 
thy name on the earth.” 37 

7,5 38 Then again, “I have raised up a king.” 39 Don’t you see that this 
is the Father’s own voice, which raised up the true Word from itself to be 
king over all — the Word truly begotten of him, without beginning and 
not in time? (6) And it raised him up again, this very king, as the holy 
apostle says, “If the Spirit of him that raised up Christ dwell in you, he that 
raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies.” 40 
(7) Thus the prophet’s words agree with the apostle’s, and the apostle’s 
with the Gospels’, and the Gospels’ with the apostle’s, and the apostle’s 
with the prophet’s; for Isaiah says, “I have raised up a king,” and Paul says, 
“He that raiseth up Christ from the dead.” 

7,8 41 But the words, “God is in thee,” < show > how mysteriously and 
marvelously the sacred scripture describes everything. The Godhead’s 

32 1 Tim 1:7. 

33 7,1-4 closely follow Hippol C. Noet. 4. 

34 Isa 45:11-13. 

35 Isa 45:14. 

36 John 14:9, cf. Hippol. C. Noet. 4. 

37 John 17:4. 

38 7,5~7a closely follow Hippol. C. Noet. 4. 

39 Isa 45:13. 

40 Rom 8:11. 

41 7,8-10 are freely paraphrased from Hippol. C. Noet. 4. 



< dwelling > in the flesh as in a temple was foreseen and foretold to the 
hope of mankind through its turning to God. (9) For the Son of God, the 
divine Word who dwells as God in his holy humanity and human nature 
as in a sacred city and holy temple, says of this holy temple, “Destroy 
this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” 42 (10) For < the > divine 
Word who has been sent from the Father in the flesh mystically reveals all 
things. To show a bond of spiritual love he embraced the flesh, shrinking 
himself despite his divine vastness — the Word himself, born of a virgin 
through the Holy Spirit; the Son of God who is one and has made himself 
one, in flesh and spirit, as the scripture says, “He that descended is the 
same also as he that ascended, the Son of Man who is in heaven.” 43 

8,i 44 What will Brainy say, then, in his brainlessness? Was there flesh 
in heaven? Obviously not. Then how can the One who descended from 
heaven be the same as the One who ascended? This is meant to show that 
the Word who has come is not from below but has descended from on 
high, since he was made man in the flesh, not by a man’s seed but by mak- 
ing his complete human nature of spirit and flesh. (2) And so, to show the 
oneness of the union of the Word and his manhood, he said that He who 
came from on high has ascended on high in the perfection of Godhead. 
(3) For now the Word, which once was not flesh but spirit, has been made 
flesh of the Spirit and the Virgin — He who was offered to the Father as a 
perfect Word, though before this, in heaven, he was not flesh. 

8,4 What was the One who was in heaven, then, but the Word who was 
sent from heaven? To show that he was the same divine Word on earth 
and < in > heaven, changeless and unalterable, he possessed his oneness 
with the one Godhead, united with it by the Father’s might. (5) For he 
was the Word, was God forever, was spirit, was might; and he adopted 
the name which was common and comprehensible to men, and was 
called Son of Man 45 though he was Son of God. (6) And the name was 
pronounced beforehand in the prophets because it was to apply to him, 
although it was not yet in the flesh. Thus Daniel said, “I saw one like unto 
a Son of Man coming upon the clouds.” 46 (7) And the prophet was right to 
give the Word this name < when he was > in heaven, and call him whom 
he saw by the Holy Spirit Son of Man, since he observed the future before 

42 John 2:19. 

43 Cf. Eph 4:9; John 3:13. 

44 8,1-7 closely follow Hippol C. Noet. 4. 

45 Cf. Hippol. C. Noet 7. 

46 Dan 7:13. 



its arrival and named the Word Son of Man before he was in the flesh. 
(8) And thus, putting the earlier event later, the Only-begotten says, “No 
man hath ascended up to heaven save he that came down from heaven, 
the Son of Man.” 47 He did not mean that he was flesh in heaven but < that > 
he was to descend from heaven, and was to be known by this name. 

9,i 48 But what is it that you’re about to say, Mister? “ ‘This is our God, 
and none can be accounted God besides him?’” 49 And that was quite 
right! The apostle too affirms it by saying, “Whose are the fathers and of 
whom, according to the flesh, came Christ, who is God over all.” 50 Since 
Christ teaches us this himself by saying, “All things are delivered unto me 
of my Father,” 51 this makes him God over all. (2) And he expounds it 
marvelously: Christ is He Who Is (6 wv), God over all (6 £7ii 7idvTwv 0 e 6?). 
(3) For John testifies to this by saying, “Thatwhich was from the beginning, 
which we have seen with our eyes and our hands have handled.” 52 And 
again, in Revelation he says, “He who is from the beginning and is to come, 
the Almighty.” 53 He was absolutely right; for when he said, “All things are 
delivered unto me of my Father,” he appended <“the Father”> precisely as 
he should have. Though he is God over all, he has a Father of his own. And 
< this becomes apparent* > when he says, “I go unto my Father.” 54 To 
which Father could he go, Brainless, if he were the Father himself? 

10, 1 55 Or again, he says, “That they may be one, as thou and I are 
one.” 56 The scripture constantly guards against men’s falls into extremes, 
and recalls their minds from all places to the middle way of the truth. 
(2) To those who think that the Son is different from the Father — I mean 
as Arius and other sects do — it says, “I and the Father are one.” 57 (3) But 
to those who think that the Father and the Son are the same because 
it has said, “I and the Father are one,” the scripture says, “Make them to 
be one as I and thou are one,” 58 shaming Noetus and his school by the 
reference to oneness of the disciples. (4) For how could Peter, John and 

47 John 3:13. 

48 9, 1-3 closely follows Hippol. C. Noet. 5. 

49 Bar 3:36. 

50 Rom 9:5. 

51 Matt 11:27. 

52 1 John 1:1. 

53 Cf. Rev 1:8. 

54 John 20:17. 

55 10,1-5 closely follow Hippol. C. Noet. 7. 

56 Cf. John 17:22. 

57 John 10:30. 

58 Cf. John 17:21-22. Hippolytus argues against Noetus from this text at C. Noet. 7. 



the rest be identically one? But since he [is one with the Father] in one 
unity of Godhead and in purpose and power, < he indicated as much* >, 
to allay any suspicion that arises against the truth from either standpoint. 
(5) And the holy apostle Philip < witnesses to this* > by saying, “Show us 
the Father.” And the Lord replied, “He that hath seen me hath seen the 
Father.” 59 But he did not say, “I am the Father.” (6) He meant himself 
when he said, “me,” but did not mean himself when he said, “hath seen 
the Father.” “The Father” is one thing, “me” is something else, and “I” is 
something else. (7) If he himself were the Father, he would say, “I am.” 
But since he is not the Father himself but the Son, he truthfully says, “He 
that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” to refute the blasphemy of Arius, 
which separates the Son from the Father. 

10,8 And so, since every scripture has plainly laid down our way with 
regard to the truth, let us halt < here >. Along with the other sects we have 
maimed Noetus and his sect, I mean of Noetians, like the so-called agate 
dragon, which cannot turn either right or left when it pursues someone, 
(g) < And > since we have escaped his unsound teachings and his school’s, 
let us give our attention to the rest by the power of God, to describe and 
refute the heretical sayings against the truth which they have invented. 

Against Valesians. * 1 38, but 58 of the series 

1,1 I have often heard of Valesians, but have no idea who Vales < was>, 
where he came from, or what his sayings, admonitions or utterances 

< were >. (2) The name, which is Arabic, leads me to suppose that he 
and his sect are still in existence, as < I also > suspect — < for* >, as I said, 

< I cannot say this for certain* > — that there are some at Bacatha, in the 
land of Philadelphia beyond the Jordan. (3) The locals call them Gnos- 
tics, but they are not Gnostics; their ideas are different. But what I have 
learned about them is the following: 

1,4 Most of them were members of the church until a certain time, 
when their foolishness became widely known and they were expelled 
from the church. All but a few are eunuchs, and they have the same beliefs 
about principalities and authorities that < the Sethians, Archontics* > and 
others do. (5) And when they take a man as a disciple, as long as he is still 
un-castrated he does not eat meat; but when they convince him of this, or 

59 John 14.8-9. Hippolytus argues against Noetus from this text at C. Noet. 7. 

1 This group is mentioned only by Epiphanius. His sources are clearly oral. 



castrate him by force, he may eat anything, because he has retired from 
the contest and runs no more risk of being aroused to the pleasure of lust 
by the things he eats. 

1,6 And not only do they impose this discipline on their own disci- 
ples; it is widely rumored that they have often made this disposition of 
strangers when they were passing through and accepted their hospitality. 
(7) They seize them [when they come] inside, bind them on their backs 
to boards, and perform the castration by force. 

1,8 And this is what I have heard about them. Since I know where they 
live, and this name is well known in those parts and I have learned of no 
other name for the sect, I presume that this is it. 

2,1 But these people are really crazy. If they mean to obey the Gospel’s 
injunction, “If one of thy members offend thee, cut it off from thee. It 
is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of heaven halt or blind, or 
crippled” 2 — how can anyone be maimed in the kingdom? (2) For if the 
kingdom of heaven makes all things perfect, it can have no imperfection 
in it. And since the resurrection is a resurrection of the body, all the mem- 
bers will be raised and not one of them left behind. (3) And if any member 
is not raised, neither will the whole body be raised. And if just the one 
member that causes offense is left behind, none of the members will be 
raised at all, for they have all caused us to offend. (4) Who is going to tear 
his heart out? And yet the heart is the cause of offenses at every turn, for 
scripture says, “From within proceed fornication, adultery, uncleanness 
and such like.” 3 All right, who will tear his heart out? 

2,5 But if, in accordance with some people’s stupidity and impiety, the 
body is not raised, how will this Valesian rule make any difference? If 
none of the members enter the kingdom of heaven, what further need is 
there to be short one member, when the others do not accomplish this? 
(6) But if the body is raised — and it is — how can there still be bodily 
mutilation in the kingdom of heaven? How can a kingdom of heaven con- 
taining bodies which are damaged not be unfit for the glory of its inhabit- 
ants? (7) And if the offending member must be cut off at all, then it has 
been cut off and not sinned! But if it has been cut off and not sinned, since 
it didn’t sin it ought to rise first of all. 

2 Cf. Matt 5:29-30. 

3 Mark 7:21-22. 



3.1 But by their audacity in performing this rash act they have set 
themselves apart and made themselves different from everyone. Because 
of what has been removed they are no longer men; and they cannot be 
women because that is contrary to nature. 

3.2 Besides, the name of the contest’s crown and prize has already 
been given, and these people will not appear in any of the three categories 
of eunuch the Lord has mentioned. (3) He says, “There are some eunuchs 
which were so born from their mother’s womb.” 4 Those eunuchs are not 
responsible for their condition, and certainly have no sin, because they 
were born that way. On the other hand there is nothing to their credit 
either, since they cannot do < anything like that > — I mean anything 
sexual — because they lack the divinely created organs of generation. 
(4) But neither can they have the kingdom of heaven as their reward for 
being eunuchs, since they have no experience of the contest. (5) Even 
though they have experienced desires, since they lack the ability to do 
what should not be done, neither do they have a reward for not doing it. 
They haven’t done the thing, not because they didn’t want to but because 
they couldn’t. This is the way of the first type of eunuch the Lord men- 
tions, the one that is born a eunuch. Because of their operation the Vale- 
sians cannot be any of these. 

4,1 “And there are eunuchs,” the Savior says, “which were made eunuchs 
of men.” Valesians are none of these either. They — the eunuchs who are 
“made eunuchs of men” 5 — are made in the service of a king or ruler. 
(2) From jealousy and suspicion of their wives, some barbarian kings or 
despots take boys when they are only children and make eunuchs of them 
so that they can be entrusted with their wives, as I said, when they are 
grown. (3) And this has been the usual reason for these eunuchs. I imagine 
that this is < the origin of > the term, “eunuch.” The “eunuch” can be “well- 
disposed” (Euvouq) because his members have been removed, and with his 
organs removed he cannot have sexual relations. (4) So this is another 
category of eunuch, the kind that is taken in childhood and made eunuchs 
by men, but not for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. 

4,5 “And there be eunuchs,” says the Savior, “which have made them- 
selves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” 6 Who can these be but 
the noble apostles, and the virgins and monks after them? (6) John and 

4 Matt 19:12. 

5 Matt 19:12. 

6 Matt 19:12. 



James, the sons of Zebedee, who remained virgin, surely did not cut their 
members off with their own hands, and did not contract marriage either; 
they engaged in the struggle in their own hearts, and admirably won the 
fame of the crown of this contest. (7) And all the millions after them who 
lived in the world without spouses and won the fame of this contest in 
monasteries and convents. They had no relations with women, but com- 
peted in the most perfect of contests. 

4,8 So it is with Elijah in the Old Testament, and with Paul, who says, 
“To the unmarried I say that it is good for them if they remain even as I am; 
but if they cannot contain, let them marry.” 7 (g) Now in what state did 
he “remain?” For if he had been a eunuch, and his imitators had remained 
like him in obedience to his “Remain as I” — how could a eunuch marry if 
he could no longer contain himself, in accordance with “Let them marry 
and not burn?” 8 You see that he is speaking of continence, not of the 
mutilation of one’s members. 

4,10 But if they claim to have made themselves eunuchs for the king- 
dom of heaven’s sake, how can they distinguish themselves from [the case 
covered by] the text, "There are eunuchs which were made eunuchs of 
men?” 9 (11) For if one makes himself a eunuch with his own hands, he is 
a man, and his hands have done this infamous thing. And even though he 
could not do it himself but was made a eunuch by others, he still cannot 
be a eunuch “for the kingdom of heaven’s sake” because he was “made a 
eunuch by men,” whether by his own hand or the hand of others. 

4,12 He will be deprived of his crown and prize as well, however, and 
have no further credit for abstaining from sexual relations. With the mem- 
bers which are needed for them removed, he cannot engage in them. 
(13) But for one who injures his own member, and one who cuts down 
another person’s vineyard, the sentence is one and the same. He has not 
lived as God wills, but has conspired to rebel against his creator, the Lord 
and God. 

4,14 But such a man will still feel desire. The eunuch in the sage’s 
proverb is not exempt from desire, < but desires* > because he cannot 
gratify his desire, as it says, (15) “The desire of a eunuch to deflower a 
virgin.” 10 And < their silliness has* > all < come to nothing* >. How much 
nonsense of all sorts has been invented in the world! 

7 1 Cor 7:8-9. 

8 Cf. 1 Cor 7:9. 

9 Matt 19:12. 

10 Sir 20:4. 



4,16 And this is what I know about them. And so, since I have spoken 
briefly of them and, as I said, believe that they are the ones, let us leave 
them behind and laugh at < them >, (17) like a two-stinged scorpion which 
is the opposite of its ancestors because it has horns and claws, and which, 
with its sting, resists the norm of God’s holy church. Trampling them with 
firmly placed sandal — that is, with the Gospel’s exact words — let us end 
our discussion of their foolishness here, and go on as usual to the rest. 

Against the impure “Purists” 1 ( Cathari ). 55, but 59 of the series 

1,1 A group called the “Purists” arose after these, founded, as it is com- 
monly said, by one Navatus. 2 Navatus was at Rome during the perse- 
cution which came before Maximian’s — I believe it was Decius’ then, or 
Aurelian’s. (2) Because of those who had lapsed during the persecution 
he, along with his followers, became proud, would not communicate with 
persons who had repented after persecution, and adopted this heresy by 
saying that < such people > cannot be saved. There is one repentance, but 
no mercy for those who have fallen away and transgress after baptism. 

r,3 We ourselves say that there is one repentance, and that this salva- 
tion comes through the laver of regeneration. But we do not ignore God’s 
lovingkindness, (4) since we know the message of the truth, the Lord’s 
mercy, nature’s pardonability, the soul’s fickleness, the weakness of the 
flesh, and the way everyone’s senses teem with sins. “No man is sinless 
and pure of spot, not if he liveth even a single day upon the earth.” 3 
1,5 Perfect penitence comes with baptism but if someone falls [after- 
wards] God’s holy church does not lose him. She gives him a way back, and 
after repentance, reform. (6) For God said, “Thou hast sinned, be silent!” 4 
to Cain, and the Lord told the paralytic, “Lo, thou art made whole; sin no 
more.” 5 The Lord recalls Peter too after his denial, and in the place of 
the three denials, challenges him three times to confession — “Peter, lovest 

1 Pourkier (p. 382ft) suggests that Epiphanius’ composition is based on Canon 8 of the 
Council of Nicaea (PG 137 261AB). Contemporary information about the Novatian schism, 
with which this Sect deals, is found at Cyprian of Carthage, Epp. 40-51 and Novatian's own 
Epistle, Clergy of Rome/Cyprian Ep. 30. Cf. also Eus. H. E. 6.43 (Dionysius of Alexandria); 
Basil of Caesarea Ep. 188, Canon 11; Ep. 190 Canon 47; Chrysost. Horn. 6 In Heb. 

2 Navatus was Novatian’s sympathizer at Carthage, and the leader of the Novatianists 
there. Epiphanius’ notice may be based on a faulty memory of Eus. H. E. 6.43. 

3 Job 14:4-5. 

4 Gen 4:7. 

5 John 5:14. 



thou me? Peter, lovest thou me? Peter, lovest thou me?” — and says, “Feed 
my sheep.” 6 

2,1 But the apostle’s exact words are their downfall. He says, “It is 
impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the 
good word of God and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall 
away, to renew them again to repentance, seeing they crucify to them- 
selves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (2) For the 
earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth 
forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing. But 
that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; 
whose end is to be burned.” 7 (3) And it is in fact impossible to renew 
those who have been renewed once and have fallen away. Christ cannot 
be born any more to be crucified for us, nor can anyone crucify again the 
not yet crucified Son of God. Nor can anyone receive a second baptism; 
there is one baptism, and one renewal. (4) But in order to heal the church 
and care for its members, the holy apostle at once prescribes their cure 
and says, “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things 
that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrigh- 
teous to forget your good work.” 8 

2.5 And you see how he has declared once and for all that there can 
be no second renewal; but he has not cut those who are still penitent off 
from salvation. Indeed, he has shown them the accompaniments to salva- 
tion, and that God is their helper because of their good works, and that he 
is the Lord of those who, even after transgressions, perform full penance 
and turn and reform. 

2.6 The holy word and God’s holy church always accept repentance, 
though not to weaken those who are finishing their course, or to make 
them lax; still, she does not block God’s grace and lovingkindness, but 
knows the nature of every case. (7) For as one who has lost his virginity 
cannot < recover > it physically since nature does not permit this, so it 
is with one who has fallen into major sins after baptism. (8) And as one 
who has fallen from virginity has continence for a second dignity, so he 
who has fallen into major sin after baptism has < reform > for a second 
healing — not as virtuous as the first, but he has the second healing he has 

6 John 21:1=;: 16; 17. 

7 Heb 6:4-8. 

8 Heb 6:9-10. 



received, one not thrust out from life. God’s word, then, does not deny the 
reward of those who labor in penance. 

3.1 And next, the same people have pressed on from this and invented 
some other things. For they too say that they have the same faith which we 
do, but they will not communicate with the twice-married. 9 For if some- 
one marries a second wife after baptism, they never admit him again. 

3.2 But this is perfectly silly. It is as though someone were to see a per- 
son swimming in the water, and plunge into the water without knowing 
how to swim, and drown because he had no experience or understanding 
of the technique of those who keep afloat with their hands and feet, but 
thought that the water simply buoys the man up without his own hands. 
(3) Or suppose that someone were to hear of a ruler punishing the doers 
of < evil > deeds right down to the smallest, and think that the same pen- 
alty applies to all, so that the punishment for murder is the same as the 
punishment for someone who slanders or has a < serious* > quarrel with 
his neighbor. (4) Or suppose that one were only a private citizen and saw 
someone with a governor’s authority to punish criminals draw his sword 
against sorcerers and blasphemers or the impious, and after seeing people 
punished supposed that all are authorized to punish such guilt and chose 
to mimic the same behavior and kill people himself, supposedly judging 
malefactors. (5) But he would be arrested and punished himself, since he 
had no such authority from the emperor to do such things, and because 
he supposed that the same sentence applied to all by law, thus condemn- 
ing himself to death as a wrongdoer through his own ignorance and lack 
of understanding. (6) The Purists have similarly lost everything by confus- 
ing everyone’s duties. From not understanding the exact nature of God’s 
teaching they have mistakenly taken another path, unaware that this 10 is 
not the tradition and following of the sacred scripture. 

4,1 For they have assumed that what is enjoined upon the priesthood 
because of the preeminence of priestly service applies equally to every- 
one. They have heard, “The bishop must be blameless, the husband of one 
wife, continent; likewise the deacon * 11 and the presbyter,” but not under- 
stood the limitation of the ordinances. (2) Since Christ’s incarnation, in 
fact, because of the priesthood’s superior rank, God’s holy Gospel does not 
accept men for the priesthood after a first marriage, if they have remarried 

9 This prohibition, as well as the refusal of communion to penitent lapsees, is con- 
demned by Canon 8 of the Council of Nicaea. 

10 Klostermann ouy auTV), MSS ow av tv). 

11 1 Tim 3:2; 6. 



because their first wife died. And God’s holy church observes this with 
unfailing strictness. (3) She does not even accept the husband of one wife 
if he is still co-habiting with her and fathering children. She does accept 
the abstinent husband of one wife, or a widower, as a deacon, presbyter, 
bishop and subdeacon, [but no other married men], particularly where 
the canons of the church are strictly enforced. 12 

4.4 But in some places, you will surely tell me, presbyters, deacons and 
sub-deacons are still fathering children [while exercising their office.] This 
is not canonical, but is due to men’s occasional remissness of purpose, and 
because there is no one to serve the congregation. 

4.5 Since, by the Holy Spirit’s good appointment, the church always 
sees what is fittest, she knows to take great care that God’s services be 
performed “without distraction,” 13 and that spiritual functions be fulfilled 
with the best disposition. (6) I mean that because of the functions and 
needs which arise unexpectedly, it is appropriate that the presbyter, dea- 
con and bishop be free for God. (7) If the holy apostle directs even the 
laity to “give themselves to prayer for a time,” 14 how much more does he 
give this direction to the priest? I mean to be undistracted, leaving room 
for the godly exercise of the priesthood in spiritual employments. 

4,8 But < this > can be tolerated < in > the laity as a concession to 
weakness — even remarriage after the first wife’s death by those who can- 
not stop with the first wife. 15 (g) And the husband of [only] one wife is 
more highly respected and honored by all members of the church. But if 
the man could not be content with the one wife, who had died, < or > if 
there has been a divorce for some reason — fornication, adultery or some- 
thing else — and the man marries a second wife or the woman a second 
husband, God’s word does not censure them or bar them from the church 
and life, but tolerates them because of their weakness. 16 (10) The holy 

12 For other statements of the requirement of clerical continence see Eus. Demon. Ev. 
1.9.31; Cyr. Cat. 12.25; Council of Elvira, Canon 26. 

13 1 Cor 7:35. 

14 1 Cor 7:5. 

15 Lay widows and widowers are permitted to remarry at Hermas Mand. 4.41; Clem. 
Alex. Strom. 3.84.2; after a period of continence at Council of Laodicea, Canon 1; Bas. Caes. 
Ep. 188, Canon 4. 

16 Because this apparently lax attitude toward divorce is surprising in Epiphanius, 

Riggi (“Nouvelle lecture”) returns practically to the text of Petavius, though with some 
modifications: Kod 6 pev piav ev E7ro:ivu peiijovi 7rapa iracnv xoi? Exxky]d“?°pE v ° ll 5 

svu7rapxEi. Ou [instead of 6] Se pvj SuvauGei? xy) pia dpxecrSyjvai xekeuxv]c7£xc7V]. "Evexev xivo$ 
jrpoqxicreu? 1 ) nopveiap vj poi/siap vj xaxvji; aixiap x w P la 'F°G Y £V0 k^ V0U > cruvcupOevxa Seuxepa 
yuvaixi, vj [instead of vj] yuvv] Seuxepu dvSpl oux aixiaxai, 6 Geiop koyop ouS’ anb xvjp exxXvjatap 



word and God’s holy church show mercy to such a person, particularly if 
he is devout otherwise and lives by God’s law — not by letting him have 
two wives at once while the one is still alive, but < by letting > him marry 
a second wife lawfully if the opportunity arises, after being parted from 
the first. 

4,11 [If this were not the case] the apostle would not tell the widows, 
“Let them marry, bear children, guide the house.” 17 Nor, to the man who 
had his father’s wife and had been delivered “to Satan for the destruc- 
tion of the flesh that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord,” 18 
would he say in turn, “Confirm your love toward him, lest such a one be 
swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.” 19 (12) For he went on to say, ‘To 
whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also. Therefore if I forgave anything, 
for your sakes forgave I it in the person of the Lord lest Satan should get 
an advantage over us. For we are not ignorant of his devices.” 20 And see 
how he allows repentance even after a transgression. 

5,1 And again the Lord says, “Forgive one another your trespasses, that 
your Father which is in heaven may also forgive you.” 21 (2) Moreover, he 
says in another passage, “And I shall bewail many among you that have 
transgressed and not repented” 22 as though to intimate that, even though 
they have transgressed and repented, they are acceptable and will not be 
cast off. For the Lord knows what he will do with each. 

5,3 And anyone can see that the rule of the truth is of this nature. After 
the first repentance through the laver of regeneration, by which repen- 
tance everyone is renewed, there is no second repentance of this sort. 
(4) For there are not two baptisms but one, Christ was not crucified twice 
but once, nor did he die for us and rise twice. And this is why we need 
to take care, or we may lose the crown of our renewal by transgression. 

xai ryjs £wyjs oiix «jtoXv]puttei, a^Xa SiaPatrcdiJsi 81a to cotSeve?. "The husband of only one 
wife is held in higher respect and honor by all members of the church [but] not [if he] 
could not be content with the one wife who died. If there has been a divorce for some 
reason, for adultery, fornication, or an evil charge, the woman [who has married] a second 
husband cannot blame [her ex-husband] who has married a second wife. Neither does the 
word of God bar them from the church and life, but bears with their weakness.” However, 
Epiphanius’ scriptural citations at 4,11-5,2 suggest that leniency is indeed his point, and 
stylistically, abrupt asyndeta in this sort of context are unusual in Epiphanius. 

17 1 Tim 5:14. 

18 Cf. 1 Cor 5:1; 5. 

19 2 Cor 2:8; 7. 

20 2 Cor 2:10. 

21 Matt 6:14; Mark 11:25. 

22 2 Cor 12:21. 



(5) But if someone does transgress and is “overtaken in a fault,” as the 
apostle says, “ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit 
of meekness, considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” 23 If, then, 
if anyone is overtaken < in > a fault, no matter which, let him repent. 

(6) God accepts repentance even after baptism, if one falls away. How he 
deals with such a person, he alone knows — “Unsearchable are his judg- 
ments, and his ways past finding out.” 24 (7) We must not judge before 
the [second] advent, “until the Lord come, who both will bring to light 
the hidden things of darkness, and then the praise of every man will be 
manifest”, 25 “For the day will declare it, for it is revealed in fire.” 26 

6,1 Thus to those who have sinned after baptism we neither promise 
freedom unconditionally, nor deny them life. For God is “merciful and 
pitiful,” 27 and “hath given a way of return to the penitent.” 28 (2) The first 
is plain; as for the second, we know that God is merciful, if we repent 
of our transgressions with our whole souls. He holds life, salvation and 
lovingkindness in his hand, and what he does is known to him alone; but 
no one can lose by repentance, and no one who repents of all his faults 
has been refused. 

6,3 How much more, surely, [must this apply to] one who is lawfully 
married to a second wife! The first wife is a divine ordinance; the second, 
a concession to human weakness. And even if one marries a further wife 
[after the second], his weakness is still tolerated. (4) For scripture says, 
“A wife is bound by law so long as her husband liveth. But if her husband 
be dead she is at liberty to be married to whom she will, < only in the 
Lord >.” 29 Scripture declares her unquestionable freedom from sin [if she 
remarries] after her husband’s death, and with its addition, < that is* >, 
“in the Lord,” sets < the limit* > [to this] freedom. (5) Thus the woman is 
not cut off from the Lord if she marries another husband after her hus- 
band’s death; nor is the man if he marries a second wife after his wife’s 
death — “only in the Lord,” as the apostle says. (6) And he indeed says, 
“But she is happier if she so abide,” 30 < but he does not command this. 
He does, however, command* >, “in the Lord.” And this means, “not in 

23 Gal 6:1. 

24 Rom 11:33. 

25 1 Cor 4:5. 

26 1 Cor 3:13. 

27 Ps 110:4; 111:4. 

28 Sir 17:24. 

29 1 Cor 7:39. 

30 1 Cor 7:40. 



fornication, adultery or an illicit love affair, but with a good will, openly, 
in lawful wedlock, abiding by the faith, the commandments, good works, 
piety, fastings, good order, almsdeeds, zeal, the doing of good. (7) When 
these accompany and remain with them, they do not render them worth- 
less or unfruitful at the Lord’s coming. 

6,8 The priesthood ranks first and has the strictest requirements in 
everything, but moderation and forbearance are shown the laity, so that 
all may be taught and all shown mercy, (g) For the Lord is merciful, and 
mighty to save all, by their orderliness and true faith in the purity of the 
gospel. For he alone is pure. (10) These people who call themselves “pure” 
make themselves impure on just these grounds; whoever declares himself 
pure has condemned himself outright for impurity. 

7,1 It is the height of stupidity for persons of this sort to suppose that 
they can pass such a judgment on the entire laity for one thing — even if 
it were true. But we should realize that no soul is charged for this reason 
alone. And < one does not > become virtuous in this way alone, (2) but 
also by not being abusive; not swearing any oath true or false but say- 
ing, “Yea, yea,” and, “Nay, nay”, not being treacherous, not slandering, not 
stealing, not trafficking. (3) The filth of our sins accumulates from all of 
these, for “As a peg will be sharpened between two stones,” says scripture, 
“so will sin between buyer and seller.” 31 (4) And < who can doubt* > that, 
out of the whole body of Purists, < some > < must be* > drunkards, traf- 
fickers, covetous, or usurers? [Who can doubt] that < they too >, surely, 
have such faults and others like them, < and > and that lies too follow in 
the wake of each? (5) How can they call themselves pure, as though, for 
this one reason, they were assured of the full divine forgiveness of all their 
faults? They have not learned the precise interpretation of the Gospel, or 
for whom it has reserved this strict rule against second marriage. 

7.6 Those too who have fallen away through persecution, if they 
accept full penance, sitting in sackcloth and ashes and weeping before 
the Lord — the Benefactor has the power to show mercy even to them. No 
ill can come of repentance. 

7.7 Thus the Lord and his church accept the penitent, as Manasseh the 
son of Hezekiah returned and was accepted by the Lord — and the chief 
of the apostles, St. Peter, who had denied for a time (8) and has [still] 
became our truly solid rock which supports the Lord’s faith, and on which 
the church is in every way founded. (9) This is, first of all, because he 

31 Sir 12:24. 



confessed that “Christ” is “the Son of the living God,” 32 and was told, “On 
this rock of sure faith will I build my church” 33 — for he plainly confessed 
that Christ is true Son. For by saying, “Son of the living God,” with the 
additional phrase, “the living,” he showed that Christ is God’s true Son, as 
I have said in nearly every Sect. 

8.1 Peter also assures us of the ffoly Spirit by saying to Ananias, “Why 
hath Satan tempted you to lie to the Holy Ghost? Ye have not lied unto 
man, but unto God,” 34 for the Spirit is of God and not different from God. 

(2) And Peter also became the solid rock of the building and foundation 
of God’s house, because, after denying, turning again, and being found by 
the Lord, he was privileged to hear, “Feed my lambs and feed my sheep.” 35 

(3) For with these words Christ led us to the turning of repentance, so 
that our well founded faith might be rebuilt in him — a faith that forbids 
the salvation of no one alive who truly repents, and amends his faults in 
this world. 

9.1 Thus the bride herself said to the bridegroom in the Song of Songs, 
“My sister’s son answereth and saith unto me, Arise and come, beloved, 
my fair one, my dove, for the storm is past” — the horrid darkness of the 
overcast sky is past, and the great frightfulness < of the storms* >, as it 
were, < of our sins* > — (2) “and the rain is over and gone. The flowers 
appear in our land, the time of pruning has come, the voice of the turtle- 
dove is heard in our land. The hg tree putteth forth her fruits. Our vines 
blossom, they have yielded their fragrance.” 36 (3) She means that all the 
past is behind us. Spring is now in bloom, the sea is calm and the fear of 
rain is past. The old < shoots* > of the vine have been cut off, the grass 
is no longer merely green but in flower as well, (4) and the voice of the 
Gospel has cried out “in the wilderness” 37 — that is, “in our land.” The hg 
tree, which once was cursed, has borne “hgs” — the fruits of repentance, 
now visible in its twigs and branches — and “vines,” 38 now in bloom with 
the fragrant message of the faith of the Gospel. 

g,5 For Christ has even now called his bride and said, “Arise and come!” 39 
“Arise,” < that is >, from the death of sins, “and come” in righteousness. 

32 Matt 16:16. 

33 Cf. Matt 16:18. 

34 Acts 5:3-4. 

35 John 21:16; 17. 

36 Cant 2:10; 13. 

37 Mark 1:3. 

38 dt| 27 tsXoui;. Because the vines twine on the fig trees planted in the vineyards? 

39 Cant 2:10; 13. 



“Arise” from transgression “and come” with confidence. “Arise” from sins 
“and come” with repentance. “Arise” from palsy “and come” whole; “arise” 
from maiming “and come” sound; “arise” from unbelief “and come” in 
faith. “Arise” from the lost “and come” with the found. 

9,6 But since the sacred oracle knew that men can fall into many trans- 
gressions after their first repentance, first call and, as it were, first healing, 
the bridegroom, again, says, “Arise and come, my beloved, my fair one, 
my dove, and come, thou my dove!” 40 (7) He calls her this second time 
and not simply once. But the second time is not like the first, for in the 
previous call he says, “Arise and come, beloved, my fair one, my dove.” 
The first time it is, “Arise and come,” and not, “Come thou." (8) And the 
second time he adds the article 41 to show that his call is not a second 
call, changed after the first, but the same divine right hand of lovingkind- 
ness [that was offered] in the first, extended once more after [there have 
been] transgressions. 

g,9 “And come, < thou > my dove,” he says, “in the shelter of the rock, 
nigh unto the outworks.” 42 “In the shelter of a rock” — < that is >, in Christ’s 
lovingkindness and the Lord’s mercy, for this is the shelter of the rock, 
the shelter of hope, faith and truth. (10) [And] “nigh unto the outworks” 
means before the closing of the gate — before the king has gone inside 
the walls and admits no one further. In other words, after our departure 
and death, when there is no more “nigh unto the outworks,” the gates are 
closed, and amendment is no more. 

10,1 For in the world to come, after a man’s departure, there is no 
opportunity to fast, no call to repentance, no giving of alms. There are no 
blameworthy deeds either — no war, adultery, licentiousness — but neither 
is there righteousness and repentance. (2) As the seed cannot thicken or 
be blasted by the wind after the reaping of the ear, so < after a man’s 
death there can be no increase of his store* > and nothing else of benefit 
to him. (3) But don’t tell me about the things that spoil the store, that is, 
the worms and moths. Scripture does say this of things in eternity; but the 
point of comparison, and what we lock away behind gates and store safely 
in a barn, is a symbol and type of faith, [which is kept] “where neither 
thieves break through nor moths corrupt,” 43 as God’s word says. 

40 Cant 2:13-14. 

41 I.e., the article specifies this call as the call issued to the same person who has already 
been called. 

42 Cant 2:14. 

43 Matt 6:20. 



Thus < there is no decrease of our store* > after death, but neither, cer- 
tainly, is there opportunity for godliness, nor, as I said, < call > to repen- 
tance. (4) For Lazarus does not go to the rich man in the next world, nor 
does the rich man go to Lazarus. Nor does Abraham inconvenience the 
poor man who has since become rich, and send him [to the rich man]. And 
the rich man who has become poor does not obtain his request, though he 
begs and pleads with the merciful Abraham. (5) The storehouses had been 
sealed, the time was up, the contest finished, the ring emptied, the prizes 
awarded, and the contestants at ease. Those who have failed have left, 
those who did not fight have no more chance, those who were worsted in 
the ring have been ejected. All is plainly over after our departure. 

10,6 But while all are in the world there is arising even after a fall, there 
is still hope, still a remedy, still confession — even if not for everyone, still 
< by those who are repenting for the second time* >. And surely < even > 
the salvation of the others is not ruled out. 

11.1 Now every sect which has drifted away from the truth in the dark is 
blind and shortsighted, thinking of one idea after another. For these peo- 
ple are like simpletons who do not understand the character, purpose and 
proper dress of any member of the body. (2) In a way — (what I propose to 
say is ridiculous, < but > it bears a resemblance to their stupidity) — they 
put their shoes on their heads but their wreaths on their feet, and golden 
collars round their tummies. And they wind what we might call our other 
footgear, which we have because we wear himatia and which some call 
drawers or pants, around their hands, but put rings on their feet. 

11,3 The regulation of these ignorant people is just as mistaken and 
clumsy. They have assumed that the prohibitions of second marriages and 
the rest, which are reserved for the priesthood, < are enjoined* > upon all 
the laity; and they have attributed the particularly stringent injunctions, 
which God has made to keep certain persons from straying through laxity, 
to cruelty on God’s part. (4) It is as though one were to tear a sleeve off an 
himation and cover himself only to the elbow or to what is called the wrist, 
but always hold the sleeve in front of his eyes and jeer at the rest, without 
noticing that his whole body was bare. (5) So these people pride them- 
selves on not receiving the twice-married, but < make light of > all the com- 
mandments that are like this and much finer in the keeping, but deadly if 
not kept. They < needlessly* > forbid the one [sin], but have ignored the 
others. (6) Forgetting that their whole bodies are bare, they have ceased to 
obey all the ordinances, and disingenuously retained the one. 

12.1 How much nonsense people can think of! Every pretext, however 
trivial it was, has drawn each sect away from the truth and impelled it 



to a prolific production of evils. (2) ft is < as though > one found a break 
in a wall beside a highway, thought of going through it, left the road and 
turned off < there >, in the belief that a place where he could turn and pick 
the road up again was right close by. But he did not know that the wall 
was very high and ran on for a long way; (3) he kept running into it and 
not finding a place to get out, and in fact went for more than a signpost, 
or mile, further without reaching the road. And so he would turn and 
keep going, tiring himself out and finding no way to get back to his route; 
and perhaps he could never find one unless he went back through the 
place where he had come in. (4) So every sect, as though it meant to find 
a shortcut, has come to grief because of the length of the journey, and its 
entanglement with ignorance and stupidity has become an unbreachable 
barrier for it. (5) And no such sect can reach the true road unless each 
one turns back to the original of the road, that is, to the king’s highway. 
(6) The Law declared this in so many words, when the holy man, Moses, 
said to the king of Edom, “Thus saith thy brother Israel. I shall pass by thy 
borders to the land which the Lord hath sworn to our fathers to give us, 
a land flowing with milk and honey, the land of the Amorites, the Per- 
izites, the Girgashites, the Jebusites, the Hivites, the Canaanites and the 
Hittites. (7) We shall not swerve to the right hand or to the left, we shall 
drink water for money and eat food for money. We shall not swerve this 
way or that, we shall go by the king’s highway.” 44 (8) For there is a king’s 
highway, and this is the church of God and the journey of the truth. But 
each of these sects which has abandoned the king’s highway, turned to the 
right or to the left, and ended by getting more lost, will be drawn out of its 
way, and will never reach the end of the wrong road of its error. 

13,1 Now then, servants of God and sons of God’s holy church, you who 
know the sure standard and are on the path of the truth! Let’s not be 
drawn in the wrong direction by voices, and led away by the voice of every 
false practice. (2) For their roads are perilous, and the path of their false 
notion runs uphill. They talk big, and don’t know even the little things; 
they promise freedom, but are the slaves of sin themselves. They boast of 
the greater things, and have not even attained to the lesser. 

13,3 But I think that this will be enough about these so-called “Pure” 
people — who, if the truth must be told, are impure people. (4) Let us toss 
this sect aside like the face of a basilisk — which, from the sound of the 
name, has a very grand title, (j 3 aa(Xiaxoq) but which it is death to meet. 
But let us, striking it with the power of the wood of the cross, set out 

44 Cf. Nu 20:14; 17; 19; Deut 7:1. 



once more for the rest, (5) offering God the same supplication that he will 
travel with us, abide with us, be with us, assist us, preserve us, chasten us, 
and make us worthy to speak the truth, so that we may not tell any false- 
hoods ourselves and thus fall into the same state as the sects, which have 
taught the world nothing true. 

13,6 And further, the people in Africa and Byzicania who are named 
Donatists for one Donatus, have ideas similar to these and are rebels 
themselves because, if you please, they will not communicate with those 
who have lapsed in the persecution. They will be refuted by the same 
arguments as the Navatians, or so-called Purists, who are unequally yoked 
with them. (7) I therefore do not need to discuss them any further, but 
have put them together with those who are like them. (8) However, these 
latter have fallen again in a more serious way. They believe in the Arian 
version of the faith and, as Arius was refuted, they likewise will be refuted 
by words of truth about the faith which they hold incorrectly; for Arius 
agrees with them and they with him. (g) And once more, we shall pass 
this sect by as though we had trampled on horrid serpents in the Lord, 
and go on to the rest. 

Against AngeLlcs. 40, but 60 of the series 

1,1 I have heard that < there is* > a sect of Angelics and have been told 
nothing but their name. But I am not sure which sect this is, perhaps 
because it arose at some time, but later dwindled away and was altogether 
brought to an end. 

1,2 But why it got its name I don’t know. It may have been because of 
some people’s saying that the world was made by angels — even if it was 
given this name for saying that, I can’t say [so for certain.] Or it may have 
been because they boasted of having the rank of angels and leading par- 
ticularly exemplary lives — I cannot make this affirmation either. Or they 
might even have been named for some place; there is a country called 
Angelina beyond Mesopotamia. 

2,1 But if you are reminded of something now, reader, you will har- 
bor no suspicion to my discredit. I promised to report the roots and the 
nourishment of some sects, or some of the things they do, but to mention 
only the name of others 1 ; (2) but as the divine power has equipped and 

1 See Proem II 2,4. But there Epiphanius does not speak of mentioning some sects 
only by name. 



aided me, until this sect I have gone right through them all and left none 
unexplained, except this one. (3) But perhaps it is because it was puffed 
up with pride for a short while and later came to an end, that I have no 
understanding of it. 

2,4 But I shall name it with the mere quick mention of its name as 
though as that of an untimely birth, pass its place [in the series] by, and 
embark on the investigation of the others. (5) I likewise entreat the Lord 
of all to disclose himself to me, show my small mind what the sects do, 
and give it all the exact facts, (6) enabling me to correct myself and my 
neighbors so that we may avoid what is evil, but gain a firm foundation, 
in God, in what is good, and absolutely true. 

Against Apostolics. 41} but 61 of the series 

1,1 Others after these have termed themselves Apostolics. They also like 
to call themselves Apotactics, since they practice the renunciation of pos- 
sessions. (2) They too are an offshoot of the doctrines of Tatian, the Encra- 
tites, the Tatianists and the Purists, and they do not accept marriage at all. 
Their mysteries also have been altered. 1 2 

1,3 They boast of supposedly owning nothing, but they divide and harm 
God’s holy church to no purpose and have been deprived of God’s loving- 
kindness by their self-chosen regulations. (4) For they allow no readmis- 
sion if one of them has lapsed, and as to matrimony and the rest, they 
agree with the sects we mentioned above. (5) And the Purists use only the 
canonical scriptures, but these people rely mostly on the so-called Acts 
of Andrew and Thomas, and have nothing to do with the ecclesiastical 

1,6 [But they are wrong]; for if marriage is abominable, all < who > are 
born of marriage are unclean. And if God’s holy church is composed only 
of those who have renounced marriage, (7) marriage cannot be of God. 
And if it is not, the whole business of procreation is ungodly. And if the 

1 Though several authors speak of Apotactics, only Epiphanius uses the term, Apos- 
tolics 2,1 suggests that he has one particular group, in a specific geographical area, in mind. 
Other authors tend to give such rigorist groups several related titles: “Encratites, Apotac- 
tics and Eremites” (Mac. Mag. 3.43); “Cathari, Encratites, Hydroparastatae and Apotactics” 
(Bas. Caes. Ep. 199, Canon 7); “Encratites, Saccophori and Apotactics” (Code of Theodosius 
16.5.7) et al. Below at 1,2 Epiphanius says, “Encratites, Tatianists and Cathari”; at 7,1, “Apos- 
tolics, Apotactics and Encratites.” 

2 This presumably means that they celebrated the eucharist with water instead of 



business of procreation is ungodly so are they, since they have been begot- 
ten by such behavior. 

1,8 But what becomes of scripture’s, “What God hath joined together, 
let not man put asunder?” 3 < To satisfy > the necessities < of nature > 4 
is human, but voluntary continence displays, not the work of man but the 
work of God. (9) And the necessity of nature [indeed] is often blamewor- 
thy because the necessity is not satisfied in a praiseworthy manner, but 
has overstepped the rule. For godliness is not a necessity; righteousness 
is by choice. 

1,10 The things which by their nature must necessarily < contribute* > 
to godliness are obvious, and these are over and above nature. For exam- 
ple, not committing fornication, not committing adultery, not being licen- 
tious, not having two spouses at once, not plundering, not being unjust, 
not getting drunk, not being gluttonous, not worshiping idols, not commit- 
ting murder, not practicing sorcery, not cursing, not reviling, not swear- 
ing, being annoyed and quickly appeased, not sinning when angered, not 
letting the sun go down on one’s wrath. (11) But that lawful wedlock < is 
godly* >, nature, which God has created and permitted, will show; and the 
other things of this sort have each their measure of permission. 

2.1 But as 1 have previously said of them, they live in a small area, 
around Phrygia, Cilicia and Pamphylia. (2) Now what does this mean? 
Has the church, which reaches from one end of the earth to the other, 
been exterminated? Will “Their sound is gone out unto all lands, and their 
words unto the ends of the world,” 5 no longer hold? Or is the Savior’s “Ye 
shall be witnesses unto me unto the uttermost part of the earth” 6 no lon- 
ger in force? (3) If marriage is not respectable, godly and worthy of eternal 
life, they < themselves* > should be born without marriage. But if they are 
born of marriage, they are unclean because of marriage. (4) If, however, 
they alone are not unclean even though they are the products of marriage, 
then marriage is not unclean — for no one will ever be born without it. 
(5) And there is a great deal of human error which harms humanity in 
various ways and for many reasons, and which, by pretense, leads every- 
one astray from the truth. 

3.1 The church too believes in renunciation, but it does not consider 
marriage unclean, ft also believes in voluntary poverty, but it does not 

3 Matt 19:6. 

4 Holl to . . . EjTotvdyxEs crijs (pucewc; emTsketvs, MSS to . . . EjtavdyicE? x co P'? Elv - 

5 Ps 18:5. 

6 Acts 1:8. 



look down on those who are in righteous possession of property, and 
have inherited enough from their parents to suffice for themselves and 
the needy. (2) Many [Christians] have enough to eat, but they are not 
contemptuous of those who do not. “Let not him that eateth despise him 
that eateth not, and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth. 
For to the Lord he eateth and drinketh, and to the Lord he eateth and 
drinketh not.” 7 (3) And you see that there is one harmony, one hope in 
the church and one faith, granted each in accordance with his ability and 
his own laborious struggle. 

3,4 God’s holy church is like a ship. However, a ship is not made of 
one kind of wood, but of different kinds. Its keel is made of one kind 
of wood, though not all in one piece, and its anchors < of > another. Its 
beams, planks and ribs, its frame-timbers, the stern, sides and cross-rods, 
the mast and the steering paddles, the seats and the oar-handles, the til- 
lers and all the rest, are an assemblage of different kinds of wood. (5) But 
since each is made of only one kind of wood, none of these sects exhibits 
the character of the church. 

God’s holy church holds marriage sacred and honors married persons, 
for “Marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled.” 8 (6) < But > it regards 
continence as the most admirable, and commends it because it is engaged 
in the contest and has despised the world, as being still more powerful 
[than the world]. And the church believes in virginity and accords it the 
highest honor, because it is a thing of virtue and is fitted with the lightest 
wing. (7) The church has members who have renounced the world and yet 
are not contemptuous of those who are still in the world; they rejoice in 
the very great piety of such persons, as did the apostles who owned noth- 
ing themselves, < and yet did not look down on the others* >. (8) And the 
Savior himself owned no earthly possessions when he came in the flesh, 
though he was Lord of all — and yet he did not reject the women who 
assisted his disciples and himself. The Gospel says, “women which fol- 
lowed him from Galilee, ministering unto him of their substance.” 9 

4,1 [If no one may own property], what is the point of “Hither to my 
right hand, ye blessed, for whom my heavenly Father hath prepared the 
kingdom before the foundation of the world. For I was an hungered, 
and ye gave me meat; thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was naked, and ye 

7 Rom 14:3. 

8 Heb 13:4. 

9 Luke 8:3. 



clothed me?” 10 (2) How could they do these things except with [the fruits 
of] their honest labor, and their righteously acquired possessions? 

4,3 And if these people < who > have made their own renunciation and 
live like the apostles would mix with the rest [of us], their ways would not 
seem strange, or foreign to God’s ordinance. (4) And if they renounced 
wives for the sake of continence their choice would be praiseworthy, 
provided that they did not call marriage unclean, and provided that they 
treated the < still > married as comrades, knowing the limitation and the 
rank of each. 

4,5 For God’s ship takes any passenger except a bandit. If it finds that 
someone is a robber and bandit it does not take him on board — or one 
who is a fugitive and in rebellion against his owners. (6) Thus God’s holy 
church does not accept fornication, adultery, the denial of God, and those 
who defy the authority of God’s ordinance and his apostles. (7) But it takes 
the man on important business, the experienced seaman — the pilot and 
< helmsman* >, the bow lookout, the man in the stern (the one most used 
to command), the one who knows something of cargo and lading — and 
someone who simply wants to cross the ocean without drowning. (8) And 
there is no question of the ship’s not providing safety for someone who 
does not have a particular amount of property; it knows how to save all, 
and each in his own profession. Why are the members of Caesar’s house- 
hold greeted in the Epistles? (g) Why the apostle’s “If any man think that 
he behaveth himself uncomely toward his virgin, and need so require, let 
her marry; she sinneth not.” * 11 

4,10 But “sinneth not” cannot apply to him without baptism. For if “All 
have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by 
his grace,” 12 this is plainly through the laver of regeneration. For bap- 
tism has adorned the soul and the body, washing every sin away through 
repentance. (11) Thus the gift of baptism both enfolds the virgin and, 
because of her sinfulness, hastens to seal the non-virgin. 

5,1 But though I have said that the apostle directed the virgin to marry, 
no one need get the silly notion that he gave this direction to dissuade 
the woman from her course once she had vowed virginity to God. (2) He 
did not mean these women, but marriageable women who had remained 

10 Matt 25:24-35. 

11 1 Cor 7:36. 

12 Rom 3:23-24. 



virgins in their prime, not for virginity’s sake but because they of their 
inability to find husbands. 

5,3 The apostles, who were Jewish and had begun their preaching after 
lives lived by the Law, were still bound by the provisions of the Law, not 
for any fleshly justification but out of regard for the Law’s fitting sure- 
ness and strictness. (4) The Law admirably forbade the Israelites to give 
their daughters to gentiles, who might seduce them into idolatry. Thus a 
believer at that time was ordered not to give his virgin daughters to Jews 
any longer, but to Christians, whose beliefs and opinions were the same 
as theirs. 

5,5 But as the Gospel was new there was not yet a large number of 
Christians in every place, and not a great deal of Christian teaching. Hence 
the fathers of virgin daughters would keep their virgins at home for a long 
time if they could not give them to Christians, and when they were past 
their prime they would fall into fornication from the necessity of nature. 
(6) So, because the apostle saw the harm that resulted from this strict- 
ness, he permitted [marriage to Jews], and said, “he who would < give > 
his virgin in marriage” 13 — and he did not say, “his own virgin,” for he was 
not speaking of the man’s own body, (7) but of the father guarding a virgin 
[daughter]. But even if “his virgin” means his own body, there is nothing 
to prevent [the man from giving his daughter]. (8) Thus he says, “< He > 
that standeth steadfast in his intention and ought so to do, let her marry! 
She sinneth not” 14 “Let her marry anyone she can; she is not sinning.” 
(g) And this is why < he says >, "Art thou bound unto a wife? Seek not to 
be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? Seek not a wife.” 15 The apostle 
who says, “I would that all men be even as I,” 16 also < said >, "If they cannot 
contain, let them many.” 17 

6,1 And again, when he was urging the < un>married [to remain so], 
he said, “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them 
if they abide even as I.” 18 (2) But then how could he go on to say, “Art thou 
bound unto a wife? Seek not to be loosed?” 19 Why will he not be guilty of 

13 Cf. 1 Cor 7:36. 

14 Cf. 1 Cor 7:37; 36. 

15 1 Cor 7:27. 

16 1 Cor 7:7. 

17 1 Cor 7:9. 

18 1 Cor 7:8. 

19 1 Cor 7:27. 



contradicting his Lord, who said, “Whoso forsaketh not father and mother 
and brethren, and wife and sons and daughters, is not my disciple?” 20 

6.3 But if Christ means that one must forsake his lawful wife, and 
his father, how can he himself say in turn, “He that honoreth father or 
mother, this is the first commandment with a promise attached” 21 and, 
“What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder?” 22 

6.4 However, none of the sacred words need an allegorical interpre- 
tation of their meaning; they need examination, and the perception to 
understand the force of each proposition. (5) But tradition must be used 
too, for not everything is available from the sacred scripture. Thus the holy 
apostles handed some things down in scriptures but some in traditions, 
as St. Paul says, “As I delivered the tradition to you,” 23 and elsewhere, 
“So I teach, and so I have delivered the tradition in the churches,” 24 and, 
“If ye keep the tradition in memory, unless ye have believed in vain.” 25 
(6) God’s holy apostles, then, gave God’s holy church the tradition that it 
is sinful to change one’s mind and marry after vowing virginity. And yet 
the apostle wrote, “If the virgin marry she hath not sinned.” 26 (7) 27 How 
can the one agree with the other? By that virgin he does not mean the 
one who had made a vow to God, but < the one on whom* > virginity has 
been forced by the scarcity, at that particular time, of men who believe 
in Christ. 

6,8 And that this is the case the same apostle will teach us by say- 
ing, “Younger widows refuse. For when they have begun to wax wanton 
against Christ, they will marry, having damnation, because they have 
cast off their first faith.” 28 (g) If even a woman who has been widowed 
after knowing the world will be condemned for abandoning her first faith 
because she has vowed to God and then married, how much more will a 
virgin, if she marries after devoting herself to God without having known 
the world? (ro) < For > why has she, indeed, not waxed far more wanton 
against Christ, and abandoned the greater faith? Why will she not be con- 
demned for relaxing her own godly resolution? 

20 Cf. Luke 14:26. 

21 Eph 6:2. 

22 Matt 19:6. 

23 Matt 19:6. 

24 Cf. 1 Cor 11:2; 7:17. 

25 1 Cor 15:2. 

26 Cf. 1 Cor 7:36. 

27 We supply a paragraph number missing from Holl. 

28 1 Tim 5:11-12. 



7.1 “Let them marry, bear children, guide the house” 29 is a concise 
and temperate retort to those who think evil of every disposition in the 
church’s tradition. (2) It is the repudiation of those who call themselves 
Apostolics, Apotactics and Encratites; also of the soft-headed churchmen 
who persuade women to shirk the running of a full course, refusing to fin- 
ish the race because of its length. (3) And whoever repudiates virginity for 
God’s sake and dishonors the contest, is a sinner and liable to judgment. If 
an athlete cheats in a game he is flogged and put out of the contest; and 
anyone who cheats on virginity is ejected from a race, crown and prize of 
such importance. 

7,4 But judgment, not condemnation, is the better alternative. Those 
who do not commit their fornication < openly > for fear of being shamed 
before men, < but > do it in secret, < have a further sin because* > they 
do this < under the pretense > of virginity, monogamy or continence. 
(5) < For > they do not have to confess to men — but they do to God, who 
knows secrets and at his coming convicts all flesh of its sins. (6) It is bet- 
ter, then, to have the one sin and not further sins. If one drops out of the 
race it is better to take a lawful wife openly, and in place of virginity do 
penance for a long time, and be readmitted to the church as one who has 
strayed and wept, and is in need of reinstatement — and not be wounded 
every day by the secret darts of wickedness which the devil launches 
at him. 

8.1 This is what the church knows how to preach. These are her heal- 
ing medicines. These are the kinds of unguents she prepares. This is the 
compounding of the holy oil in the Law. This is the fine faith with its 
sweet fragrance which steels the athlete for the contest, reminding him 
that, to be crowned, he must stay the course. (2) And this is the work of 
God, gathering all things for royal disposition: purple from the sea, wool 
from the flock, linen from the earth and flax and silk, skins dyed scarlet 
and precious stones, emeralds, pearls, agates — stones of different colors 
but of equal value. (3) Gathering gold, silver, petrified wood, bronze and 
iron, moreover, and not disdaining goat skins. (4) And this was the taber- 
nacle of those days; but now, in place of the tabernacle, there is the house 
made firm in God, founded on the power < of the truth* >. And every sect 
should stop attacking the truth, or rather, stop driving itself away from 
the truth. 

29 1 Tim 5:14. 



8,5 And let this be enough. I have struck this haughty viper with the 
wood of the cross and left it dead, like the quick-darting snake, as they call 
it, or the blind-snake or rnouser. These snakes do not have as much venom, 
but they may well be compared with the Apostolics as nuisances because 
of their movement, pride and stroke. Let us disdain them, beloved, and 
go on to the rest. 

Against Sabellians. 1 42, but 62 of the series 

1,1 Sabellius did not arise very long ago in ancient times, for his date is 
recent. The so-called Sabellians are derived from him. (2) He < taught > 
very similarly to the Noetians, except for a few further doctrines of his 
own. (3) Many in Mesopotamia 2 and Rome are of his persuasion, due 
to some stupidity of theirs. 

1,4 For he, and the Sabellians who derive from him, hold that the 
Father is the same, the Son is the same, and the Holy Spirit is the same, so 
that there are three names in one entity. 3 (5) 4 Or, as there are a body, 
a soul and a spirit in a man, so the Father, in a way, is the body; the Son, 
in a way, is the soul; and as a man’s spirit is in man, so is the Holy Spirit 
in the Godhead. (6) Or it is as in the sun, which consists of one entity but 
has three operations, I mean the illumining, the warming, and the actual 
shape of the orb. (7) The warming, or hot and seething operation is the 
Spirit; the illumining operation is the Son; and the Father is the actual 
form of the whole entity. 5 (8) And the Son was once sent forth like a ray, 
accomplished the entire dispensation of the Gospel and men’s salvation 
in the world, and was taken up to heaven again, as though a ray had been 
sent by the sun and had returned to the sun. (g) But the Holy Spirit is sent 
into the world both once and for all, and in the individual case of each 
person so privileged. He quickens this person and makes him fervent, and, 

1 The source of this is plainly literary, see the time reference in 1,1 and the style of what 
follows. A possibility is some lost work of Dionysius of Alexandria, see Eus. H. E. 6.6. Sabel- 
lius is attacked at Hippol. Haer. 9.3.11-13.5.4. 

2 The Mesopotamian archbishop Archelaus mentions Sabellius as a heretic, Act. 
Arch. 41. 

3 The same phraseology is attributed to Sabellius by Dionysius of Alexandria apud 
Athanasius, De Sententiis Dionysii (Routh III p. 375). 

4 We supply a paragraph number not found in Holl. 

5 Roughly the same comparison is made at Justin Dial. 128.5; Tert. Adv. Prax. 10.4. 



as it were, warms and heats him by the power of the Spirit and his com- 
munion with him. 6 And these are their doctrines. 

2.1 They use all the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, but 
[especially] certain texts which they select themselves in keeping with 
the idiocy and stupidity of their own which they have introduced. 
(2) First, God’s words to Moses, "ffear, O Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord 
is one.” 7 “Thou shalt not make to thyself other gods.” 8 “There shall not 
be unto thee new gods,” 9 for “I am God, the first and the last, and beside 
me there is no other.” 10 (3) And whatever of this sort < they find, < they 
alter* > to suit themselves, and advance it as proof of these doctrines. 
Again, [they use] the saying from the Gospel, “I am in the Father and the 
Father in me, and we two are one.” * 11 

2,4 But they have taken all of their error, and the sense of their error, 
from certain apocryphal works, especially the so-called Egyptian Gospel, 
as some have named it. 12 (5) There are many such passages in it, purport- 
ing to be delivered privately in the person of the Savior as mysteries, as 
though he is telling his disciples that the Father is the same, the Son is 
same, and the Holy Spirit is the same. 13 

2,6 Then, when they encounter simple or innocent persons who do 
not understand the sacred scriptures clearly, they give them this first 
fright: “What are we to say, gentlemen? Have we one God or three gods?” 
(7) But when someone who is devout but does not fully understand the 
truth hears this, he is disturbed and assents to their error at once, and 
comes to deny the existence of the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

3.1 Man’s ancient adversary has inspired all these sectarians in order 
to deceive people — one in one way and one in another, but deceive most 
of them and deflect them from the way of the truth. (2) That God is truly 
one and there is no other, is plainly confessed in God’s holy church, and 
it is agreed that we do not inculcate polytheism, but proclaim a single 
sovereignty. (3) However, we do not err in proclaiming this sovereignty 
but confess the Trinity — Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, and one 

6 Cf. Athenagoras Leg. 10. 

7 Deut 6:4. 

8 Cf. Exod 20:3. 

9 Ps 80:10. 

10 Isa 44:6. 

11 Cf. John 10:38; 30. 

12 Hippolytus quotes a passage about souls from a “Gospel according to the Egyptians” 
at Haer. 5.7.8-g. 

13 Perhaps cf. NHC Gr. Seth 59,18, where Christ is made to say, “The Father, who is I.” 



Godhead of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (4) For the Son did not beget him- 
self, and the Father was not changed from his fatherhood < into being > 
a Son. Nor did the Holy Spirit ever call himself Christ; he called himself 
Spirit of Christ and given through Christ, proceeding from the Father and 
receiving of the Son. 

(5) The Father is an entity, the Son is an entity, the Holy Spirit is an 
entity. But the Trinity is not an identity as Sabellius thought, nor has 
it been altered from its own eternity and glory, as Arius foolishly held. 
(6) The Trinity was always a Trinity, and the Trinity never receives an addi- 
tion. It is one Godhead, one sovereignty and one glory, but is enumerated 
as a Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and not as one entity with three 
names; the names are truly complete and the entities are complete. 

3,7 But nothing has been changed. The Father is always a father and 
there was no time when the Father was not a father. Because he is per- 
fect, he is forever an actual Father. And the Son is forever perfect, forever 
actual, truly begotten of the Father without beginning, not in time, and 
ineffably. He is not brother to the Father. (8) He has had no beginning and 
will never come to an end, but co-exists with the Father forever as his true 
Son, begotten of the Father outside of time, the equal of the Father — God 
of God, light of light, very God of very God, begotten, not made. But he is 
not the Father himself, and the Father is not the Son himself; there is one 
God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 

4,1 For the Spirit is forever with the Father and the Son — not brother 
to the Father, not begotten, not created, not the Son’s brother, not the 
Father’s offspring. He proceeds from the Father and receives of the Son, 
and is not different from the Father and the Son, (2) but is of the same 
essence, of the same Godhead, of the Father and the Son, with the Father 
and the Son, forever an actual Holy Spirit — divine Spirit, Spirit of glory, 
Spirit of Christ, Spirit of the Father. For < scripture says >, "It is the Spirit 
of the Father that speaketh in you,” 14 and, “My Spirit is in the midst of 
you.” 15 He is third in name but equal in Godhead, not different from the 
Father and the Son, bond of the Trinity, seal of the confession of it. 

4,3 For the Son says, “I and the Father, < we two > are one.” 16 He did 
not say, “I am one,” but with “I” and “the Father” indicates that the Father 

14 Matt 10:20. 

15 Hag 2:5. 

16 Cf. John 10:30. 



is an entity and the Son is an entity. And he said, “the two,” not “the one”; 
and again, he said, “We are one,” not, “lam one.” 

4.4 < He > likewise < says >, “Go baptize in the name of the Father, and 
of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” 17 But by inserting the conjunctions, 
that is, the syllable “and” [between the names], he refutes Sabellius, with 
his futile introduction of an identity. (5) For by < inserting > “and” he 
shows that there is truly a Father, truly a Son, and truly a Holy Spirit — but 
since the Trinity are of equal rank, and are called ‘Trinity” as one name, 
he refutes Arius, with his notion of a subordination, difference or change 
in the Trinity. 

4,6 For even though the Father is declared to be greater than the 
Son who glorifies him, the Father, with perfect propriety, preserves the 
< equal > glory for the Son. For who else but the true Son should glorify 
his < own > Father? (7) But when, again, he desires to state his equality 
[with the Father], to prevent certain persons from going wrong by think- 
ing less of the Son he says, “Whoso honoreth not the Son as he honoreth 
the Father hath not life in himself,” 18 and, "All things that the Father 
hath are mine.” 19 But what can “All things that the Father hath are mine” 
mean but, “The Father is God; I am God. The Father is life; 1 am life. The 
Father is eternal; 1 am eternal. All things that the Father hath are mine?” 

5,1 See and understand, Sabellius! Open the eyes of your heart, and 
cease from your blindness! Let your mind, and the minds of your dupes, 
go with St. John to the Jordan. (2) Open your ears and hear the prophet’s 
voice say, “1 am the voice of one crying in the wilderness.” 20 Hear the 
Lord’s fore-runner, privileged to be called “angel,” who received the Holy 
Spirit in his mother’s womb and leaped when Mary entered Elizabeth’s 
dwelling. (3) While still in the womb he knew his Master’s coming in and 
leaped for joy. To him was given the preparatory announcement of the 
Gospel, and the readying of the way of the Lord. Believe him, and you 
cannot miss the mark of the truth. 

5.4 See here, John himself testifies by saying first, on recognizing his 
Lord, “1 have need of thee, and comest thou to me?” And when the Sav- 
ior said, “Suffer it to be so now, that all righteousness may be fulfilled,” 21 
(5) and was himself baptized by John, “John bare record,” as the divine 

17 Matt 28:19. 

18 Cf. John 5:23-24. 

19 John 16:15. 

20 John 1:23. 

21 Matt 3:14. 



Gospel says, and said, “The heavens were opened. And I saw the Holy 
Spirit in the form of a dove descending and coming upon him. And a 
voice from heaven, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 22 
(6) The Father was in heaven, you trouble-maker, the voice came from 
heaven! If the voice came from above, expound your false notion to me! 
To whom was the Father saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am 
well pleased?” And who was it? 

5,7 And why did Spirit descend in the form of a dove, although he had 
no body? For the Only-begotten alone assumed a body, and was made 
perfect man of the ever-virgin Mary, by the Holy Spirit, (8) not by a man’s 
seed. The Word, the Master Builder, formed his own body from Mary, 
took the human soul and mind and everything human, all in its perfec- 
tion, and united it with his divinity. It was not as though he inhabited a 
man, 23 nothing like that! He himself is the holy Word, the divine Word 

6,1 But why does the Spirit appear in the form of a dove? Why but to 
convince you not to blaspheme, you would-be sage without a correct idea 
in your head, to keep you from thinking that the Spirit is identical with 
the Father or the Son? (2) Although the Spirit himself has never had a 
body, he is portrayed in the form of a dove to indicate and expose your 
error. For the Spirit is an entity in himself, and the Father is an entity, and 
the Only-begotten is an entity, but there is no division of the Godhead, or 
subordination of its glory. (3) And you see how the Trinity is enumerated, 
with the Father calling from on high, the Son baptized in the Jordan, and 
the Holy Spirit arriving next in the form of a dove. 

6,4 Tell me, who was it that said, “Behold, my beloved Son shall under- 
stand, in whom I am well pleased, he whom my soul hath chosen. I shall 
put my Spirit upon him, and he will declare judgment to the gentiles. He 
will not strive nor cry, nor will his voice be heard in the streets. A bruised 
reed shall he not break and smoking flax shall he not quench until he 
bring forth judgment into victory,” 24 and so on? (5) Doesn’t this convey 
the meaning of the Trinity, you trouble-maker? Or did the Father say all 
this in the prophet about himself? 

22 John 1:32; Matt 3:17. 

23 For the idea of inhabiting a man cf. NHC VII, 2 Gr. Seth 51,21-24, “I visited a bodily 
dwelling. I cast out the one who was in it first, and I went in.” 

24 Cf. Isa 42:1-4. 



6,6 Who is it of whom scripture says, “The Lord said unto my Lord, 
Sit thou on my right hand?” 25 And it didn’t say, “Enter into me.” (7) Or 
again, why does the Gospel say, "And he ascended into heaven, and sat 
down at the right hand of the Father, and will come to judge the quick 
and the dead? 26 (8) Or again, why have the two men who appeared in 
white garments not convinced you by saying to the disciples, “Ye men of 
Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is 
taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have 
seen him taken up?” 27 (g) And at whom was the blessed Stephen look- 
ing when he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man 
standing on the right hand of God?” 28 But you, you utter boor — you, on 
the other hand, have done harm to yourself and your followers by not 
understanding the voice of the holy scriptures and being deprived of the 
holy faith in God’s truth. 

7,1 Certainly he said, “I am the first and I am the last, and beside me 
there is no other.” 29 (2) For of course there are not many gods! There 
is one God, the first and the last, Father, Son and Holy Spirit — and the 
Trinity is not an identification, and not separated from its own identity. It 
is a Father who has truly begotten a Son; and a Son truly begotten of the 
Father as an entity, without beginning and not in time; and a Holy Spirit 
truly of the Father and the Son, of the same divinity, proceeding from the 
Father and receiving of the Son, forever < an entity >, “one God, the first 
and the last.” 30 

7,3 But this oracle in its turn is given to serve a different purpose, and 
in the person of Christ himself. Long ago in the time of the prophets our 
Lord Jesus Christ often appeared and foretold his incarnation — though 
some have not received him, but await someone else instead. (4) And 
it is meant for those who have a superstitious regard for idols and have 
brought polytheism to the world, to keep the children of Israel from being 
struck with fear and turned to [the worship of] the idols of the Amorites, 
Hittites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, Girgashites, Jebusites, Arucaeans, 
and Asanaeans, as they had been prophetically warned. (5) For they wor- 
shiped Baal Peor, Chemosh, Astarte, the Mazzuroth, the Neastho, Baal 
Zebub, and the rest of the idols of the heathen. And this is why the Lord 

25 Ps 109:1. 

26 Cf. Mark 16:19. 

27 Acts i:n. 

28 Acts 7:56. 

29 Isa 44:6. 

30 Isa 41:4; 44:6. 



told them, “I am the first and the last” — to turn them away from the error 
of the polytheist myth-makers. 

7.6 And because they would spurn the advent of the Son himself, our 
Lord Jesus Christ, he told the Jews, "I am the first and the last” — the One 
who sojourned here first in the flesh, and will come at the last to judge the 
quick and the dead. He suffered on the cross, was buried and arose, and 
was taken up in glory in his body itself, but a body united in glory with 
his Godhead, and made radiant — no longer tangible, no longer mortal, for 
“Christ is risen,” 31 as the scripture says; “Death,” says the apostle, “hath 
no more dominion over him.” 32 

7.7 And see how [scripture’s] accuracy guides a person, to keep him 
from error about either of the parts of the truth. Whenever his mind is 
inclined to construct a pantheon, he hears, “The Lord is thy God, the Lord 
is one.” (8) But when the children of Israel await a Christ other than the 
Christ who has come, they hear, "I am the first and I am the last,” 33 and, 
“I am alpha and omega” 34 — the alpha which looks down, and the omega 
which looks up, in fulfillment of scripture’s, “He that descended is the 
same also that ascended up far above all rule and authority and dominion, 
and every name that is named.” 35 

7,9 And < to show what the truth is* > when < someone > supposes 
< that > < only the Father is the true God* > because he has said, “I am 
the first and the last,” “I am alpha and omega,” “The Lord thy God is one 
Lord,” 36 and “I am he who is,” 37 so that no one will deny the Son and 
the Holy Spirit (10) he says, “My Father is greater than I,” 38 and, “that 
they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast 
sent.” 39 This is not [said] because the Son is not the true God, but to 
reduce the name of the Trinity to a single oneness, and redirect men’s 
thinking from many divinities to one Godhead. 

8,1 But if the blunderer Arius gets the notion that only the one, that is, 
only the Father, is called the “true” God, while the Son is God but not “true 
God,” Christ refutes him in his turn, in another way. He says [of himself], 

31 Luke 24:6. 

32 Rom 6:9. 

33 Isa 41:4; 44:6. 

34 Rev 1:8. 

35 Eph 4:10; 1:21. 

36 Deut 6:4. 

37 Exod 3:14. 

38 John 14:28. 

39 John 17:3. 



“I am the true light, that lighteneth every man that cometh into the world,” 40 
but of the Father, “God is light." 41 (2) And he refrained from saying, “true 
light,” so that we would realize the equality of the Father’s Godhead with 
the Son’s and the Son’s with the Father’s because of "true God” and “true 
light,” and not be < misled* > because of the Father’s being "light” and the 
Son’s being “God” without the addition of “true” in those instances. (3) 
There was no need to say “true” [in these two latter cases], since there 
was no doubt about it. The one perfection of the same relationship — the 
Father’s to the Son and the Son’s to the Father — was made plainly evident 
from the words, “God” and “light.” 

8.4 And that demolishes all the idiocy of your error. The Father is a 
father, the Son is a son, and the Holy Spirit is a holy spirit. They are a 
Trinity — one Godhead, one glory, one sovereignty, < one God >, to whom 
be glory, honor and might, the Father in the Son, the Son with the Holy 
Spirit in the Father, forever and ever. Amen. 

8.5 And we have now shaken this sect off, and trampled it in its turn 
by the power of the Holy Trinity, like a libys or molurus or elops, or one 
of those snakes which look very alarming but can do no harm with their 
bites. Let us once more go on to the rest, calling on him to come to the aid 
of my poverty and mediocrity, < so that > I may have his help in < giving* > 
a proper < account* > of each sect’s teachings and activities, < and* > com- 
posing the refutations of them. 

Against the first type of Origenists, * 1 who are shameful as well. 

43, but 63 of the series 

1,1 There are people called Origenists, but this kind of Origenist is not to 
be found everywhere. I think, though, that the sect we are now discussing 
< arose > next after these [others]. (2) They are named Origenists, but I am 
not sure after whom. I do not know whether they < are derived > from the 
Origen who is called Adamantius the Author, 2 or from some other Origen. 
Still, I have learned of this name. 

40 John 8:12; 1:9. 

41 1 John 1:5. 

1 Only Epiphanius mentions this group; his sources of information are plainly oral. 

2 C7UVTC()£TV]!;. 



1.3 The heresy they profess might have been modeled on the heresy 
of Epiphanes, whom I described earlier in the Gnostic Sects. 3 But these 
people read various scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. And they 
reject marriage, although their sexual activity is incessant. Some have said 
that the sect originated in the region of Rome and Africa. 

1.4 They soil their bodies, minds and souls with unchastity. Some of 
them masquerade as monastics, and their woman companions as female 
monastics. And they are physically corrupted because they satisfy their 
appetite but, to put it politely, by the act of Onan the son of Judah. 
(5) For as Onan coupled with Tamar and satisfied his appetite but did not 
complete the act by planting his seed for the God-given [purpose of] pro- 
creation and did himself harm instead, thus, as < he > did the vile thing, so 
these people have used their supposed < female monastics >, committing 
this infamy. 

1,6 For purity is not their concern, but a hypocritical purity in name. 
Their concern is limited to ensuring that the woman the seeming 
< ascetic* > has seduced does not get pregnant — either so as not to cause 
child-bearing, or to escape detection, since they want to be honored for 
their supposed celibacy. (7) In any case, this is what they do, but others 
endeavor to get this same filthy satisfaction not with women but by other 
means, and pollute themselves with their own hands. (8) They too imitate 
the son of Judah, soil the ground with their forbidden practices and drops 
of filthy fluid and rub their emissions into the earth with their feet, so that 
their seed will not be snatched by unclean spirits for the impregnation of 

2,1 But as I said, they use various scriptures of the Old and the New Tes- 
taments and certain apocrypha, especially the so-called Acts of Andrew 
and the others. Indeed, they themselves have often freely boasted of doing 
this thing. (2) Yet they accuse the members of the church, if you please, 
who have beloved “adoptive wives,” as they call them, of doing this too — 
but secretly from respect for public opinion, so as to engage in the wicked- 
ness < in fact* >, but in pretense preen themselves on the name [“virgin”] 
from regard for the public. 

2,3 But some have told me of certain persons, now dead, who suppos- 
edly also did this, having allegedly heard the information from women 
these people had forced into it. (4) Among them they used to mention a 

3 Pan. 32,3,1-5,1. 



bishop who had exercised the episcopate for a number of years in a small 
town in Palestine and had had women of this sort, I mean adoptive wives, 
to wait on him. Indeed, I have learned even from confessors that he was 
that sort of person. (5) All the same, I do not believe the persons who 
have said this and claim to have heard it from the women. For the strong 
evidence of the speakers’ malice led me sometimes to believe, but at other 
times to disbelieve their evil report of the aged bishop after his death. 
(6) For the charge against him was something like this: “So-and-so was 
caught in sin with a woman, and his defense when we confronted him was 
that his partner in pollution had told him about the vicious practice” — 
although she was already along in years and in her old age! — “and taught 
him to use her but scatter his dirty fluids outside, on the ground.” 

3,1 And this is their filthy act, which deceives their own minds and is 
blinded by the devil. (2) I see no need for me to cite the texts which have 
been their downfall. 4 Otherwise I might seem to be using the texts which 
I mean as criticisms, to discourage the evil practices of each sect, as an 
incentive to those whose minds are always unstable and vain, and who 
pursue evil for themselves rather than desiring good. (3) Rather than this 
I shall offer a few sample arguments as protection against this frightful, 
snake-like sect. 

3,4 Where have you gotten the idea of your vile act, you people? For to 
begin with, who cannot see that your teaching is entirely the teaching of 
demons, and the mischief you have contrived is the behavior of deluded, 
corrupt persons? (5) If conception is in any way evil, this is not because 
of childbearing but because of carnal relations. Why, then, do you give in 
to lust and have carnal relations? 

3,6 And if carnal relations are not evil, neither is it evil for the one who 
has them to consummate what he has done. Or < must > an ascetic not 
cultivate the fruits of the soil, as “Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain 
was a tiller of the ground?” 5 (7) But if one tills the ground, like Noah who 
“became an husbandman and planted a vineyard” 6 — Noah did not plant 
a vineyard in order for it not to yield vintage. He planted it and “drank of 
the fruit thereof and was drunken,” 7 as scripture says. 

3,8 But the aged man is excus< able >; he was pleasing to God, and did 
not fall to drink from intemperance. Perhaps he was overcome with grief 

4 Contrast Pan. 26,8,4-9,2. 

5 Gen 4:2. 

6 Gen 9:20. 

7 Gen 9:21. 



and fell into a stupor, and succumbed to weakness from infirmity and old 
age because he could not bear them; [in any case] it was not to be mocked 
by his son. (g) But the son who mocked him received his curse, for the 
punishment of those who offer insult to their parents, and of thoughts 
in us that rebel against the knowledge of God and the ordinance he has 
rightly decreed. 

4,1 For even though marriage is not as highly honored as virginity and 
virginity is superior to it — for true virginity is called glorious and virtu- 
ous, not unclean — marriage is respectable too, < if one > employs 8 God’s 
good creatures for procreation, not shame, and does not misuse God’s 
appointed method of conjugal intercourse. (2) For in fact, virginity is the 
state the apostle commends because he says, “The virgin, and the unmar- 
ried woman, careth for the things of the Lord, how she may please the 
Lord, that she may be holy in body and soul” 9 — showing that even though 
the unmarried state is open to suspicion, it is no cause of faults. 

4,3 Indeed, < propriety must be preserved in marriage* >. We know 
that Abraham sired children although he was dear to the Lord, and Isaac, 
Jacob and the rest. And they did not sully themselves with vile acts by 
touching filth and < slime* >, or oppose God’s good ordinance of pro- 
creation through lawful wedlock. (4) Nor did those of them who prac- 
ticed chastity and virginity debase the contest and make something else 
of it, as though to evade by trickery the virtuous mode of competing. 
(5) Elijah too never lightly entered towns or associated with women, but 
lived in deserts. Elisha, John, and all who < exhibited > this great mark 
of the imitation of the angels, made themselves eunuchs in the right way 
for the kingdom of heaven’s sake, in accordance with the Lord’s ordinance 
in the Gospel. 

4,6 And although I have a great deal to say about them, and could 
expose the devil’s mockery of their minds with many proofs from scrip- 
ture, I rest content with these few. (7) For anyone can see that their 
behavior is not sensible, and that such knowledge is not from God; their 
ridiculous activity, and their fall into the practice of iniquity, are diaboli- 
cally inspired. 

4,8 And now that we have maimed this sect too — like the horrid snake 
we call the viper, which has a short body but breathes a breath which is 
fearful for its venom, and blows destruction at those who come near it — 

8 Holl: (teSoSeuei; MSS: omayopEUEi. 

9 1 Cor 7:34. 



let us go on to the rest since we have crushed it, calling on God to help us 
keep the promise of our whole work in God. 

Against Origen 1 also called Adamantlus. 44, but 64 of the series 

1,1 Origen, also surnamed Adamantius, 2 comes next after these. He was 
the son of the holy and blessed martyr 3 Leonidas, 4 and in his youth 
suffered a very great deal of persecution himself. 5 He was well schooled 
in the Greek education 6 and brought up in the church, and became 
known at Alexandria in the Emperor Decius’ time. (2) He was a native 
Egyptian, but lived and was brought up in Alexandria, and perhaps also 
went to the schools at Athens 7 at some time. 

1,3 It is said that he suffered a great deal for the holy word of the faith 
and the name of Christ, and indeed was often dragged around the city, 
insulted, and subjected to excruciating tortures. 8 (4) Once, as the story 
goes, the pagans shaved his head, set him on the steps of the temple of 
their idol which they call the Serapeum, and ordered him to hand out 
palm branches to those who went up the stairs for the vile act of worship- 
ing the idol. (The priests of their idols take this posture.) (5) Taking the 
branches he cried out without fear or hesitation, with loud voice and a 
bold mind, "Come get Christ’s branch, not the idol’s!” And there are many 
accounts of his brave deeds which the ancients hand down to us. 

2,1 But his deeds did not remain worthy of the prize till the end. He 
had been an object of extreme envy for his superior learning and educa- 
tion, and this further provoked the authorities of his day. (2) With dia- 
bolical malice the workers of iniquity thought of mistreating him sexually 
and making that his punishment, and they secured a black to abuse his 
body. (3) But Origen could not bear even the thought of this devil’s work, 

1 Eus. H. E. 6,1-39 contains an admiring account of Origen’s life. Epiphanius’ less friendly 
treatment is not based on Eusebius, but probably upon oral tradition which may, however, 
be influenced by Eusebius. For Origen’s life see also Jer. Vir. 111 . 54. 64-7,4 and 10,1-7 are 
quoted from Origen’s Commentary on the First Psalm, and 12,1-62,15 from Methodius’ On 
the Resurrection. 

2 Eus. H. E. 6.14.10. 

3 Eus. H. E. 6.1.1. 

4 Eus. H. E. 6.2.6; 12. 

5 Eus. H. E. 6.3.1-7. 

6 Eus. H. E. 6.2.7; 3.8; 19.10-14. 

7 Eus. H. E. 6.32.2; Jer. Vir. 111 . 54. 

8 Eus. H. E. 6.34-7; 4.1; 39.5. 



and shouted that, given the choice of either, he would rather sacrifice. 9 
(4) Certainly, as is widely reported, he did not do this willingly either. But 
since he had agreed do to it at all, he heaped incense on his hands and 
dumped it on the altar fire. (5) Thus he was excluded from a martyr’s sta- 
tus at that time by the confessors and martyrs who were his judges, and 
expelled from the church. 10 

2,6 Since he had consented to this at Alexandria and could not bear the 
ridicule of those who reproached him, he left and elected to live in Pales- 
tine, that is, in Judaea. (7) On arriving at Jerusalem he was urged by the 
priesthood, as a man with such skill in exegesis and so highly educated, 
to speak in church. * 11 (They say that the presbyterate had been conferred 
upon him earlier, before his sacrifice.) 12 (8) And so, as I said, since those 
who were then serving as priests in the holy church in Jerusalem urged 
him to speak in church and strongly insisted on it, he stood up and sim- 
ply recited the verse of the forty-ninth Psalm, omitting all the intervening 
verses, “But unto the ungodly saith God, Why dost thou preach my laws 
and takest my covenant in thy mouth?” 13 And he rolled the scroll up, 
gave it back, and sat down in floods of tears, and all wept with him. 

3,1 A while later, at the urgent request of many, he made the acquain- 
tance of Ambrose, a prominent imperial official. (Some say that Ambrose 
was a Marcionite, but some, that he was a Sabellian.) 14 At any rate, Ori- 
gen taught him to shun and abjure the sect and adopt the faith of God’s 
holy church, for at that time Origen was of the orthodox, catholic faith. 
(2) Since Ambrose was from a different sect and, < being > an educated 
man, was a zealous reader of the sacred scriptures, he asked Origen to 
explain them to him because of the profundity of the ideas in the sacred 
books. (3) In compliance and at his urging, Origen was willing to become 
the interpreter of all the scriptures, as it were, and 15 made it his business 
to expound them. It is said that < he spent* > twenty-eight years in Tyre 

9 This appears to be a variation on the story of Origen’s pupil Potimiaena, who is 
threatened with rape by gladiators, answers defiantly, and is put to death, Eus. H. E. 6.5.1-5. 

10 At Photius Bibl. 11 Eusebius is inaccurately reported as saying that a synod expelled 
Origen from Alexandria after this incident. 

11 Cf. Eus. H. E. 6.23.4. 

12 Eusebius places Origen’s ordination to the presbyterate at Caesarea, H. E. 6.84-5; 
23 - 4 - 

13 Ps. 49:16. At In Psalmos 12.348 Origen says, “A sinner should not preside in the 
office of a teacher.” 

14 Eusebius makes Ambrose a Valentinian, H. E. 6.18.1. 

15 Holl eppypeup yevEcrSoa [xcd] E^yviawSai enezridevas; Dummer retains the xcu. 



in Phoenicia 16 (4) < devoting himself* > to a life of extreme piety, 17 and to 
study and hard work. Ambrose provided support for him and his stenogra- 
phers and assistants, 18 and papyrus and his other expenses; 19 and Origen 
carried his work on the scripture through by burning the midnight oil, and 
with the most intense study. 

3,5 First, making a painstaking effort to collect the < books* > of the six 
[Old Testament] versions — Aquila, Symmachus, the Septuagint, Theodo- 
tion, (6) and a fifth and a sixth [version] — < he issued them* > setting 
each Hebrew expression next to them, and the actual < Hebrew > letters as 
well. But directly opposite these, in a second column next to the Hebrew, 
he made still another parallel text, but in Greek letters. (7) Thus this is, 
and is called a Hexapla, 20 and besides the Greek translations < there are > 
two parallel texts, of the Hebrew actually in < Hebrew > letters, and of the 
Hebrew in Greek letters. It is thus the whole Old Testament in the version 
called the Hexapla, and in the two Hebrew texts. 

3,8 Origen had laboriously accomplished this entire work but he did 
not preserve his fame untarnished till the end, for his wealth of learning 
proved to be his great downfall, (g) Precisely because of his goal of leaving 
none of the sacred scriptures uninterpreted he, as an allurement to sin, 
disguised himself and issued mortally dangerous exegeses. (10) The so- 
called Origenists < took their cue*> from this. Not the first kind, the < ones 
who practice* > the obscenity. As I have already remarked, I cannot say 
whether they originate with this Origen who is also called Adamantius, or 
whether they have another founder whose name was < also > Origen. 

3,11 It is said, however, that our Origen too contrived < a > measure 
affecting his body. < For > some say that he severed a nerve so that he 
would not be disturbed by sexual pleasure or inflamed and aroused by 
carnal impulses. 21 (12) Others say no, but that he invented a drug to 
apply to his genitals and dry them up. But others venture to ascribe other 
inventions to him — that he discovered a medicinal plant to assist memory. 

16 Jerome says that Origen died at Tyre, Vir, 111 . 54. Epiphanius locates Origen’s literary 
activity there, and seems not to know of his headship of the catechetical school at Alex- 
andria, which Eusebius emphasizes at H. E. 6.1-3. 

17 Origen's austerities are mentioned at Eus. H. E. 6.3.9-12. 

18 Holl oijuypaipok [xod] tou; ujivjpETOutjiv auxco; Dummer retains the xa(. 

19 Eus. H. E. 6.23.1-2. 

20 Cf. Eus. H. E. 6.16.1-4; Jer. In Tit. 3.9 (PL 26, 595B). 

21 Eusebius (H. E. 6.8.1-3) says that Origen did something serious to his body, but does 
not specify what. 



(13) And though I have no faith in the exaggerated stories about him, 
I have not neglected to report what is being said. 

4,1 The sect which sprang from him was located in Egypt first, but < it 
is > now < to be found > among the very persons who are the most emi- 
nent and appear to have adopted the monastic life, among those who 
have really retired to the deserts and elected voluntary poverty. But this 
is a dreadful sect and worse than all the ancient ones, and indeed, holds 
beliefs similar to theirs. (2) For though it does not train its disciples to 
perform the obscenity, it casts an evil suspicion, 22 one worse than the 
obscenity, upon the Godhead itself. For Arius took his cue from Origen, 
and so did the Anomoeans who succeeded him, and the rest. 

4,3 For Origen claims, and at once 23 dares, if you please, to say first 
that the Only-begotten Son cannot see the Father, and neither can the 
Spirit behold the Son; 24 and angels surely cannot behold the Spirit, nor 
men the angels. (4) And this is his first downfall. For he does not believe 
that the Son is of the Father’s essence, but represents him as entirely dif- 
ferent from the Father, and created besides. But he holds that he is called 
“Son” by grace. 

4,5 But he has other downfalls too, which are more serious. He says 
that the human soul is preexistent, and that souls are angels and celestial 
powers, but have sinned and so been shut up in this body as a punish- 
ment. (6) They are sent < down > by God as a punishment, to undergo 
a first judgment here. And so the body is called a “frame” (Sepa), says 
Origen, because the soul has been “bound” (SeSect&cxi) in the body, imagin- 
ing the ancient Greek fabrication. And he spins other yarns about this as 
well. He says that we speak of a “soul” (iJjuxv]) because it has "cooled off” 
(4>uX&v)vo!i) in coming down. 25 

4,7 He smears on texts from the sacred scriptures that suit him, 
though not as they are or with their real interpretation. He claims that the 
words of the prophet, “Before I was humbled, I offended,” 26 are the words 
of the soul itself, because it “offended” in heaven before it was “humbled” 

22 Holl xaxvp, MSS Seivvjv. 

23 Marcianus, Urbinas, the Georgian, Delahaye: xar ’ dpxvp; Venetianus, Holl: 7repi 

24 Orig. Princ. 1.1.8; Cf. Justinian, Ep. Ad Mennam, Mansi IX 489C. 

25 Orig. Princ. 2.8.3. Cf. Paschal Epistle of Dionysius of Alexandria for 401 A.D.=Jer. Ep. 
96.15.1; for 402=Jer. Ep. 98.1.10; for 404=Jer. Ep. 100.12.1-3. 

26 Ps 118:6-7. Cf the attribution of the penitential and supplicatory Psalms to the fallen 
Pistis Sophia, PS 52-56 et al. 



in the body. (8) And “Return unto thy rest, O my soul,” 27 are the words of 
one who has been valiant in good works here, returning to his rest on high 
because of the righteousness of his behavior. 

4.9 And there is much else of the sort to be said. He says that Adam lost 
the image of God. And this is why the skin tunics are signalized in scrip- 
ture, for “He made them tunics of skin and clothed them” 28 refers to the 
body. And he talks a great deal of nonsense which is widely repeated. 

4.10 He makes the resurrection of the dead a defective thing, sometimes 
nominally supporting it, sometimes denying it altogether, but at other 
times < saying > that there is a partial resurrection, (n) Finally, he gives 
an allegorical interpretation of whatever he can — Paradise, its waters, 
the waters above the heavens, the water under the earth. He never stops 
saying these ridiculous things and others like them. But I have already 
mentioned things of this sort about him, and discussed them at length, in 
some of my other works. 29 

5,1 But even now, in the Sect that deals with him, it will do no harm to 
describe them again for the same reason and purpose, and give his refuta- 
tion from his own counterfeits. (2) For there is a great deal of his nonsense 
that came later, and the cultivation of an idea that is false and departs 
from the truth. (3) For he appeared to speak against every sect before him 
and refute each one, but later he spat this sect up into the world, one of 
no little influence. 

5,4 So then, first I shall quote his own words in refutation of his false, 
bogus notion; then I shall show what I, in my mediocrity, intend to say 
against him. And here they are, the things he told the world in The First 
Psalm ; (5) for though he is always on slippery ground in every scripture, 
in the essential parts he erred in so many words. 

But since < his writings are* > very bulky — as 1 mentioned, he is said to 
have written a long work on every scripture — < it is impossible to quote 
all of it; but Origen never* > refused to say what he thought < in his expo- 
sitions of the scripture* >. (6) And he has a modest reputation for what 
he said about ethics, types of animals and so on in his sermons and pref- 
aces, and often gave clever expositions. (7) But in his position on doc- 
trines, and about faith and higher speculation, he is the wickedest of 
all before and after him, except for the shameless behavior in the sects. 

27 Ps 114:7. 

28 Gen 3:21. 

29 Epiphanius means Anc. 54-64. See also the later Epiph/John of Jerusalem=Jer. Ep. 
51 - 5 - 1 ; 7 - 



(8) (For as I indicated above, he chose to adopt even an ascetic style of 
life. Some say that his stomach was ruined by his excessively severe regi- 
men, and fasting and abstention from meat. 

5,9 Well then, I shall quote his own words from the First Psalm 30 
< along with > his doctrinal speculations in it — word for word, so that no 
one may call my attack on him vexatious. (10) Not, by any means, that he 
strayed from the truth only in the First Psalm; as I have often said, he did 
it in every exposition. But because of the bulk of his work let me select 
some things from his Psalm here, and show the whole of his unsoundness 
in the faith from one, two or three remarks, of course taking care to speak 
against them. (11) And here, at once, is the text of every word, to show you, 
scholarly hearer, that Origen plainly held that the Son of God is a creature, 
and also show you, from his impudence about the Son, that he taught that 
the Holy Spirit is the creature of a creature. (12) Let us take a part of the 
Psalm, from the beginning until the actual expression [in question], in 
Origen’s own words. 

The beginning of Origen’s commentary on the first Psalm 

6,1 God’s oracles tell us that the sacred scriptures have been locked away and 
sealed with the “key of David” 31 — also, perhaps, with the seal of which it said, 
“an impression of a seal, hallowed to the Lord ” 32 They are sealed, in other 
words, by the power of the God who gave them, the power which is meant 
by the seal. (2) In the Book of Revelation John instructs us further about this 
locking away and sealing and says, “And to the angel of the church in Phila- 
delphia write, These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath 
the key of David, he that openeth, and none shall shut, and shutteth, and 
none shall open. I know thy works; behold, I have set before thee an open 
door, and no man can shut it .” 33 (3) And a little further on, “And I saw in 
the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the 
backside, sealed with seven seals. And / saw another strong angel proclaim- 
ing with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book and to loose the seals 
thereof? (4) And no man in heaven, nor on earth, neither under the earth, 
was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept, because no 
man was found worthy to open the book, neither to look thereon. (5) And 

30 Eusebius mentions this commentary at H. E. 6.25.1. 

31 Rev 3:7. 

32 Exod 28:36; Sir 45:12. 

33 Rev 3:7-8. 



one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of 
Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book and the seven seals 
thereof ” 34 

And, of the sealing alone, Isaiah says the following: “And all these words 
shall be unto you as the words of this book that is sealed. The which, if It be 
given to any man that is learned, saying Read this, he shall say, I cannot 
read it, for it is sealed, And this book shall be given into the hands of a man 
that is not learned, and one shall say unto him, Read this. And he shall say, 
I am not learned. ” 35 

6,7 We must take it that this is said not only of John’s Revelation and 
Isaiah, but of all of sacred scripture — admittedly, even by those who are 
capable of a fair understanding of the oracles of God. For scripture is filled 
with riddles, parables, difficult sayings and manifold other forms of obscu- 
rity, and is hard for human comprehension. (8) In his desire to teach us this 
the Savior too said, “Woe unto you lawyers!" — as though scribes and Phari- 
sees held the key but made no effort to find the way to open the door. “For 
ye have taken away the key of knowledge. Ye entered not in yourselves, and 
them that were entering in ye suffered not to enter. ” 36 

7,1 I have said this by way of preface, holy Ambrose, since I am compelled 
by your great love of learning and my respect for your kindness and humility, 
to embark on a struggle of the utmost difficulty, and admittedly beyond me 
and my strength. (2) And since I was hesitant for a long time, knowing the 
danger not only of speaking of holy things but, far more, of writing of them 
and leaving one’s work for posterity, you will be my witness before God of the 
disposition with which I have done this — even though, with all the world, I 
too inquire into these matters. For with all sorts of friendly blandishment, 
and with godly encouragement, you have brought me to it. (3) And I some- 
times hit the mark, but sometimes argue too vehemently or < otherwise * > 
appear to say something < too daring* >. I have, however, investigated the 
sacred writings without despising the aptly put, “When thou speakest of God, 
thou art judged of God," and, “It is no small risk to speak even the truth 
of God." 

7,4 Now since without God there can be no good thing, most of all no 
understanding of the inspired scriptures, I ask you to approach the God and 
Father of all through our Savior and High Priest, the originated (yn^Tcq) 

34 Rev 5:1-5. 

35 Isa 29:11-12. 

36 Luke 11:52. 



God, and pray that he wUL grant me, first, to seek rightiy. For there is a prom- 
ise of finding for those who seek; [but] it may be that there is no promise at 
all for seekers if God deems them to be proceeding by a road that does not 
lead to finding. 

So far the excerpt from Origen 

8,1 And first I need to discuss the term, “originated God,” with this brag- 
gart with his illusory wisdom, this searcher out of the unsearchable and 
exhibitor of the heavenly realms, who, as a greater man than I has said, 
has filled the world with nonsense. (2) And anyone can see that there 
are many equivalents and synonyms. (3) If the term were used by some- 
one else, one might say that this too had been said with right intent. But 
since I have found in many instances that Origen wrongly distinguishes 
between the Only-begotten God and the Father’s Godhead and essence — 
and the same with the Holy Spirit — it is plain that by saying “originated 
God” he is pronouncing him a creature. 

8.4 For though some would like to outwit me and say that “originated” 
is the same thing as “begotten,” < this > is not admissible. < The latter may 
be said only of God, but the former* > may not be said of God, but only of 
creatures. “Originated” is one thing, “begotten,” another. 

8.5 Now as to Origen’s statement that God is created or originated, let 
me ask first, "How was the person created whom, by this expression of 
yours, you honor as God? And if he is created, how can he be worshiped?” 
(6) Set aside the holy apostle’s censure of those who make gods of created 
things; grant that a creature can be worshiped as God by the principles of 
the godly faith, which worships the creator, not the creature! Then it will 
be reasonable for you to derive your erroneous argument from the piety of 
the fathers. But you can certainly not prove this. (7) And even if you ven- 
tured to steal it from somewhere and distort it — even so, you Godstruck 
simpleton, you cannot change the good sense of the godly into judgment 
as poor as this! Both your intent and your argument are against you; 
(8) as I said, no created thing is worthy of worship. But if it is worthy 
of worship at all, then, since there are many other created things, it will 
make no difference to us if we worship them all along with the one crea- 
ture; they are its fellow servants, and in the same category. 

g,i But let us see by the four Gospels through which the divine Word, 
when he came, revealed our whole salvation, whether Christ has ever said, 
“God created me,” or, “My Father created me!” And let us see whether the 
Father declared in any of the Gospels, “I have created the Son and sent 



him to you.” (2) But enough of this for now; as to proof-texts, I have often 
cited them at length against people who introduce the notion of the Son’s 

9,3 Even here, however, it will do no harm to show the ease with which 
the term can be refuted and ask the would-be sage, “Mister, how can he 
be a creature when he says, “I am in the Father and the Father in me, and 
we two are one?” 37 (4) How can he be different from the Father when 
he has equal honor? For “No man knoweth the Son save the Father, nor 
the Father, save the Son,” 38 and, “He that hath seen me hath seen the 
Father?” 39 

g,5 And in turn, resuming the thread I am likewise going to speak of 
all his doubts about resurrection, again from his own words. And let me 
make the whole of his opinion plain and reveal the infidelity of his doctri- 
nal position from one passage. (6) < For > even though he has often spo- 
ken at length of this and talked nonsense about it in many books, I shall 
still offer the refutation from the argument he gives in The First Psalm 
against the sure hope of us who believe in the resurrection. 

10.1 And it is as follows. He says, Therefore the ungodly shall not arise 
In the judgment . 40 Next (in his usual manner of parading the versions, 
Likewise Theodotlon, Aqulla and Symmachus. Then he scornfully attacks 
the sons of the truth: 

10.2 Thus the simpler believers suppose that the ungodly do not attain the 
resurrection and are not held worthy of the divine judgment; but they have 
no way of explaining what they suppose the resurrection is, and what sort of 
judgment they imagine. (3) For even if they think they are expressing their 
opinion of these matters, examination will show that they cannot defend the 
consequences of their beliefs, having no grasp of the nature of resurrection 
and judgment. 

10,4 Thus if we ask them what it is a resurrection of, they reply, “Of the 
bodies we have now." If we then ask further whether or not there is a res- 
urrection of our whole being before we examine them they say, “Of our 
whole being.’” (5) But if, allowing for the naivete of those who do not even 
< understand* > the mutability of nature, we raise further questions and 
inquire whether all the blood that has been lost in bleedings will rise with 
our bodies — and all the flesh that has wasted away in illness, and all the 

37 John 14:10; 10:30. 

38 Matt 11:27. 

39 John 14:9. 

40 Ps 1:5. 



hair we have ever had, or only the hair we had at the last, towards our end — 
(6) they are distressed and sometimes take offense at the questioning since 
they believe we must allow God to deal with these things as he wills. But 
sometimes, since they believe that our hair at the end of this life goes down 
to the grave with the body, they say that it will arise with it. (7) The better of 
them, however, to avoid having to take account of the blood which has flowed 
from our bodies on many occasions, and the flesh which changes <to> sweat 
or something else in illness, say that it is our body at the end that rises. 

u,i These are the would-be sage’s trifling objections to the truth; I have 
been obliged to quote them as proof for those who wish to know the full 
sense of his disbelief in the resurrection. Indeed, he makes many other 
< silly remarks* > in the course of the Psalm, one after another. (2) For he 
says, Therefore the ungodly shall not arise in the judgment . 41 From here on 
he attacks those who declare the certainty of the resurrection, and who 
believe in the sure hope of the resurrection of the dead, for their naivete. 
And by adducing many weak points, inculcating a sophistical opinion, 
(3) < and presenting > no reliable argument but any old thing drawn from 
logic for the ruin of his followers, he tried to overthrow the confession 
of our true hope in the resurrection by referring to the accidents of our 

11,4 But given my limited ability, I wouldn’t dare hope to improve on 
those who have done good work already and replied with full justice to 
all the rhetorical villainy Origen has thought of. I believe I may rest con- 
tent with the blessed Methodius’ remarks against Origen with reference to 
the matter of the resurrection. I shall present these here, word for word; 
Methodius’ words as he composed them are as follows: 

An epitome of Origen’s arguments, from the writings of Methodius 

12,1 Thus the simpler believers suppose that the ungodly do not attain the 
resurrection < and are not held worthy of the divine judgment; but they have 
no way of explaining > what they think resurrection is, < or what sort of 
judgment they imagine >. (2) For even if they think they are expressing their 
opinion of these matters, examination will show that they cannot defend the 
consequences of their beliefs < and have no grasp of the mode of the resur- 
rection and judgment >. 

41 Ps 1:5. 



12,3 Thus if we ask them what it is a resurrection of, they reply, “of the 
bodies we have now. ” If we then ask further whether or not there is a resur- 
rection of our whole being before we examine them they say, “of our whole 
being. ” (4) But f, allowing for the naivete < of those who do not even under- 
stand the mutability of nature >, we raise further questions < and inquire > 
whether all the blood that has been lost in bleedings will rise with our 
bodies — and all the flesh and hair we have ever had, or just what we had 
toward our end — (5) they will be distressed and take refuge in the answer 
that God < may > do as he will The better of them, however, will say that it is 
our body at the end that rises, and thus not have to take account of the same 
blood which flows from our bodies on many occasions, < and the flesh which 
changes to sweat or something else in illness >. 

12,6 But because of the natural mutability of bodies and points of this 
sort, we have raised further questions. As foods are taken into the body and 
change their appearances, (7) so our bodies too are changed in birds of prey 
and wild beasts, and become parts of those bodies. And when they in turn 
are eaten by men or other animals, they are changed correspondingly and 
become the bodies of men and other animals. (8) And as this continues for a 
long time, the same body must often become a part of several men. In the res- 
urrection, then, whose body will it be? And as a result we become immersed 
in senseless drivel. 

13,1 And after these objections they resort to the reply that all things are 
possible with God, and cite texts from the scriptures which, if taken at their 
face value, are capable of supporting their opinion. (2) For example, Ezekiel’s 
“And the hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me forth in the spirit 
and set me in the midst of the plain, and it was full of men’s bones. And he 
brought me about them round about, and lo, there were very many upon the 
face of the plain, and lo, they were very dry. (3) And he said unto me, Son of 
man, can these bones live? And I said, Lord God, thou knowest these things. 
(4) And he said unto me, Prophesy, son of man. And thou shalt say unto 
them, Ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith Adonai, the Lord, 
unto these bones: Lo, I will bring into you the breath of life, and I will put 
sinews upon you and cover you with flesh, and I will stretch skin upon you 
and put my Spirit within you, and ye shall live. And I will place you in your 
own land, and ye shall know that I am the Lord ." 42 

13,5 They use this passage <as> something quite convincing. But they 
also < gather > sayings from the Gospels, such as, “There shall be wailing and 

42 Ezek 37:11. 



gnashing of teeth ,’’ 43 and, “Fear him that is able to destroy both soul and 
body in hell,” 44 and Paul’s, “He shall raise up your mortal bodies through his 
Spirit that dwelleth in you. ” 45 

14.1 But every lover of truth, who is just as determined as they to contend 
for the resurrection, must both preserve the tradition of the ancients and 
guard against falling into the tomfoolery of contemptible notions which are 
both impossible and unworthy of God. ( 2 ) And at this point it must be stated 
that by nature no body ever has the same material substratum, since some- 
thing such as food is put into it from without, and as this food is eliminated, 
further things such as vegetable and animal products are put in place of 
the further materials which have been put into it. ( 3 ) Thus the body has not 
inaptly been called a river. For strictly speaking, the first substratum in our 
bodies is scarcely the same for two days, even though, despite the fluidity of 
the nature of a body, Paul’s body, say, or Peter’s, is always the same. ( Same- 
ness does not apply only to the soul, the nature of which is neither in flux like 
our [body’s], nor ever susceptible of addition.) ( 4 ) This is because the form 
which identifies the body is the same, just as the features which characterize 
Peter’s or Paul’s bodies remain the same — characteristics < like > childhood 
scars, and such peculiarities <as> moles, and any others besides. 

14,5 This form, the bodily, which constitutes Peter and Paul, encloses the 
soul once more at the resurrection, changed for the better — but surely not 
this extension which underlay it at the first. ( 6 ) For as the form is < the same > 
from infancy until old age even though the features appear to undergo con- 
siderable change, so we must suppose that, though its change for the better 
will be very great, our present form will be the same in the world to come. 

14,7 For a soul which is in bodily places must have bodies befitting the 
places. ( 8 ) And just as, if we had to become water creatures and Lived in the 
sea, we would surely need gills and the other features offish, so, as we are to 
inherit the kingdom of heaven and live in places superior to ours, we must 
have spiritual bodies. ( 9 ) But despite its change to greater glory the form of 
the previous body does not vanish, just as, at the transfiguration, the forms of 
Jesus, Moses and Elijah were not different from what they had been. 

15.1 Therefore do not be offended if someone should say that the first 
substratum will not be the same then. For to those who can understand the 
matter, reason shows that, even now, the first substratum is not the same 

43 Matt 8:12. 

44 Matt 10:28. 

45 Rom 8:11. 



two days running. (2) It also should be realized that one thing is sown, but a 
different thing comes up; for “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual 
body .” 46 (3) And Paul, practically teaching us that we will discard < every > 
earthly characteristic at the resurrection while our form will be preserved, 
adds, “This I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom 
of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption .” 41 (4) This will natu- 
rally be maintained in the case of the holy < body > by Him who gave form 
to the flesh — which is flesh no longer, but whatever was once characteristic 
of the flesh will be characteristic of the spiritual body. 

15,5 And < as to> the sayings of the scriptures which our brethren cite, 
there is this to be said. First, Ezekiel’s, since the simpler sort prefer to < rely > 
on it. According to these lines there will be no resurrection of flesh, but only of 
bones, skin and sinews. (6 )At the same time they must be shown that they are 
too hasty, since they have not understood the passage. Simply because bones 
are mentioned we need not take them to mean the bones we have— just as it 
is obvious that, in “Our bones were scattered beside Hades, ” 48 “All my bones 
were scattered ,” 49 and, “Heal me, for my bones were troubled ,” 50 it is plain 
that “bones" in the common acceptation of the word are not intended 

15,7 Now to this tally Ezekiel adds, “They say, Our bones are dried up. Are 
they therefore saying, “Our bones are dried up ,” 51 with the intent that the 
bones be reassembled and rise? But this cannot be. (8) They could be saying, 
“Our bones are dried up,” however, because they are in captivity and have 
lost all their living moisture. And so they add, “Our hope is perished, we are 
lost .” 52 Thus the promise of the people’s resurrection is a promise of their 
rising from their fall, and from the death which, in a way, they have died for 
their sins by being abandoned to their enemies. (9) Sinners too are called 
“sepulchers full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness ” 53 by the Savior. 
And it is fitting that God open each of our graves of, and bring us forth from 
the graves quickened, as the Savior brought Lazarus forth. 

16,1 But as to “There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth ,” 54 we must 
confront them with the objection that, as in this life the creator has made 

46 1 Cor 15:44. 

47 1 Cor 15:50. 

48 Ps. 140:7. 

49 Ps 21:15. 

50 Ps 6:3. 

51 Ezek 37:11. 

52 Ezek 37:11. 

53 Matt 32:27. 

54 Matt 8:12. 



every member of the body for some purpose, so he has made the teeth to chew 
solid food Why do the damned need teeth, then? Our brethren do not claim 
that they eat in hell. (2) And it must be pointed out that not everything in 
scripture is to be taken literally. Scripture says, “Thou hast broken the teeth 
of sinners, ” 55 and, “The Lord hath crushed the teeth of the lions ,” 56 but who 
is so foolish as to suppose that, while preserving sinners’ bodies, God breaks 
only their teeth? (3) Just as whoever wanted the lines to read like that was 
obliged by his discomfort with them to resort to allegory, so one must look for 
the gnashing of the teeth of the damned. The soul has the faculty of “chew- 
ing [on things],” and when convicted of its sins will “gnash its teeth” by the 
clashing of its thoughts . 51 

16.6 But “Fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell ” 58 
perhaps teaches that the soul is incorporeal, or even, perhaps, means that 
the soul will not be punished apart from the body. I have already spoken 
from the naturalist’s perspective of the form and the first substratum of the 

16.7 And the apostle’s saying, “He shall also quickenyour mortal bodies, ” 59 
even when the body is mortal and incapable of true life, can be a proof that, 
although the bodily form of which we have spoken is by nature mortal, it will 
itself be changed from a “body of death, ” 60 be quickened by the life-giving 
Spirit “when Christ who is our life shall appear ," 61 and from < fleshly > 
become spiritual. (8) And “Some man will say, How are the dead raised 
up, and with what body do they come ?” 62 is also plain proof that the first 
substratum will not be raised, (g) For if we have understood the illustra- 
tion properly, we must hold that when the generative principle in the grain 
of wheat has laid hold of the matter which surrounds it, has permeated it 
entirely < and > has taken control of its form, it imparts its own powers to 
what was formerly earth, water, air and fire, and by prevailing over their 
characteristics transforms them into the thing of which it is the creator. And 
thus the ear of grain comes to maturity, vastly different from the original 
seed in size, shape and complexity. 

55 Ps 3:8. 

56 Ps 57:7. 

57 Holl: 9povv][xdTuv; MSS: oSovtcov. 

58 Matt 10:28. 

59 Rom 6:11. 

60 Rom 7:24. 

61 Col 3:4. 

62 1 Cor 15:35. 



Proclus’ own words 63 

17,1 So much by way of summary of the points which Origen endeavored to 
make in his treatise on resurrection, in proof of a very complex hypothesis. 
But consider too the points which follow from these. ( 2 ) It remains to take up 
the additional texts from scripture so that, like an image < with > all parts 
of it in proportion, this presentation may < thereby > gain < symmetry > and 
be fully framed as a whole, lacking nothing that contributes to its shape and 
beauty. ( 3 ) We must therefore explain why the scriptures which enable one 
to perfect a better proof agree with the above. For if one is capable of a pre- 
cise understanding of this and falls short in nothing that is needed, he will 
realize that the resurrection may not be taken to apply to this body which 
cannot remain unchanged forever, but that it must apply to the spiritual 
body, in which the very same form that is even now preserved in this body 
will be retained — so that, as has also been said by Origen, each of us will be 
the same even in appearance. 

17,4 For he proposed that the resurrection will be as follows: Since the 
material body is mutable, he says, and since it never remains even briefly 
the same but is increased and diminished in the form characteristic of the 
man, by which his appearance is preserved, we must of necessity expect the 
resurrection to be reserved for the form alone. ( 5 ) And lest you say, “I don’t 
understand" — Origen’s treatment of this was difficult — I shall explain the 
sense of this more clearly to you here. ( 6 ) You have surely seen an animal 
skin, or something else of the sort, filled with water in such a way that, if it 
is emptied of a little of its water and then filled with a little, it always shows 
the same shape; for the container’s contents must conform to the shape of 
the container. ( 7 ) Well then, suppose the water is leaking out. If one adds an 
amount of water equal to that which is spilled and does not allow the skin to 
be entirely emptied of water, unless that occurs the added water must look 
like the water which was there before, since the container of the inflowing 
and the outflowing water is the same. 

17,8 Now if one chooses to compare the body to this, he will not be put to 
shame. For what is brought in by the food in place of the flesh which has been 
eliminated will likewise be changed to the shape of the form which contains 
it. And the part of it that is dispersed to the eyes looks like the eyes, the part 
that is dispersed to the face looks like the face, and the part that is dispersed 
to the other members looks like them. Thus everyone looks the same, though 

63 The Origenist speaker Proclus has been summarizing Origen’s teaching on resurrec- 
tion. Now he begins to speak for himself. 



the flesh in them is not their original flesh, but the flesh of the form whose 
shape the incoming was given. 

17,9 Now if we are not the same in body even for a few days but are the 
same in the form of the body — only this is stable from its creation — all 
the more, neither will we be the same in the flesh then, but we shall be the 
same in the form which now < and > always is preserved and remains in us. 
(10) For as, although the body is not the same now, its appearance is kept 
the same because it has the same form, so, though the body will not be the 
same then either, the form will be manifest, grown more glorious — no longer 
in a perishable, but in an impassible and spiritual body as Jesus’ was at the 
transfiguration when he ascended the mountain with Peter, and as were the 
bodies of Moses and Elijah who appeared to him. 

18,1 So much for this; this, in sum, is the sense of Origen’s doctrines. (2) But 
suppose that one who doubts this urges the body of Christ — for he is called 
“the firstborn from the dead ” 64 and the “firstfruits of them that slept ” 66 — 
and says that we must expect the resurrection of everyone’s < bodies > to be 
like the resurrection of Christ, so that “God will bring them which sleep in 
Jesus with him ’’ 66 in the same way that Christ was raised. But, [he will go on 
to say], Jesus’ < body > has risen even with the flesh it had, and with its bones, 
as Thomas was convinced. We [ for our part ] shall say, (3) "But Christ’s body 
was not 'by the will of a man ,’ 67 ‘of pleasure accompanying sleep ,’ 66 'con- 
ceived in iniquities and begotten in sins .’ 69 It was 'of the Holy Spirit, the 
power of the Highest and the Virgin, ’ ” 70 while yours is the product of sleep, 
pleasure and dirt. (4) And thus the sage, Sirach, said, “When a man dieth it 
is said, He shall inherit creeping things, snakes and worms .” 71 And < David > 
in the eighty-seventh Psalm said, “Wilt thou do wonders for the dead, or shall 
physicians rise up and confess thee? Will thy mercy be told in the grave and 
thy faithfulness in destruction? Will thy wondrous works be known in the 
dark, and thy righteousness in the forgotten land ?” 72 (5) And for one who 
cares to gather them from the scriptures, there are other passages of the 

64 Col 1:18; Rev 1:5. 

65 1 Cor 15:20. 

66 1 Thes 4:14. 

67 John 1:13. 

68 Wisd Sol 7:2. 

69 Ps 50:7. 

70 Cf. Luke 1:35. 

71 Sir 10:11. 

72 Ps 87:11-13. 



same kind. < Let us omit them * >, Lest, by mentioning them all, I make my 
discourse many times longer than what has been said. 

For the rest, the words of Methodius 

19,1 Proclus, then, came to a reluctant halt and the hearers were silent for 
some time, for they had been pretty well cast down into unbelief. And I saw 
that he had really finished, raised my head unnoticed by the rest, and heaved 
a sigh like sailors when the swell subsides, though I was still trembling 
slightly, and giddy — (/ had been hit, I can tell you, and was overwhelmed 
by the frightfulness of the words.) ( 2 ) I turned to Auxentius and addressed 
him by name. “Auxentius, ” I said, “I believe that the line, 'Two proceeding 
together ,’ 13 was not spoken in vain, since we have two opponents. Therefore 
‘Let the both of us become as strong as the both of them .’ 74 ( 3 ) I choose you 
for my ally and fellow combatant in the battle against them to keep Aglao- 
phon, in alliance with Proclus and armed against us with Origen’s objec- 
tions, from sacking the resurrection. ( 4 ) Come then, let us stand our ground 
against their sophisms, fearing none of the counter-arguments by which the 
cowardly are struck. For there is no soundness or firmness whatever in them, 
but merely a specious show of words rehearsed for the purpose of awe ing 
and swaying the hearers, not for the sake of the truth and for the hear- 
ers’ benefit, but so that the words will sound wise to the audience. ( 5 ) Thus 
probable propositions, embellished for the sake of beauty and to give plea- 
sure, are sometimes thought better by the masses than the results of precise 
investigation — though the teachers are not striving for improvement and 
still more, for holiness, but to please and succeed, like the sophists who take 
money for what they say, and cut the price of their wisdom for applause. 

19,6 “Anciently, expositions were always brief, and were given by persons 
who were at pains, not to please, but to benefit the audiences of their day. But 
latterly, ever since, from carelessness, anyone has been permitted to interpret 
the scriptures, they have all been filled with conceit and lost their keenness 
for doing good, but have prided themselves on their progress in debating as 
though they were clever enough to know everything — ashamed to admit that 
they needed teaching but < ambitious* > to contend, like their teachers, and 
to seek to surpass.. . 75 ( 7 ) Thus from over-confidence they have lapsed from 

73 Iliad 10.244. 

74 Iliad 21.308-9. 

75 Some material has fallen out at this point. 



piety, meekness, and the belief that God can do all that he has promised, and 
have come to meaningless, blasphemous disputations, unaware that deeds 
were not performed for the sake of words, but words [were spoken] for the 
sake of deeds — as < in > medicine, whereby the sick must be cured by the 
putting of set words into application — so that, once we have been tuned, 
our minds may be in full accord with our best words, and, like lyres, pro- 
vide behavior in tune with our speech, but not discordant and inharmonious. 
( 8 ) To attain to righteousness we must truly struggle to practice it — not 
struggle in appearance, setting foot on the path of wisdom with a limp, and 
in place of a real effort making an apparent one, disguised with pretexts, 
pretenses, and all the trappings of hypocrisy. 

20,1 For there are indeed persons who, like women artfully made up 
for deception, < beguile the simple* > with the embraces of words show- 
ily adorned, unless someone examines them with a concern for those even 
younger in the faith, and in a sober manner. ( 2 ) One must take care, then, 
before he learns to accept this sort of talk with trust. For deceivers often over- 
take the wavering, just as the Sirens overtake those who flee from them by 
disguising their hatred of humanity with beautiful singing from afar. ( 3 ) Or 
what do you < think > of this situation, Auxentius?” I said. 

“The same as you,” he replied. 

20.4 “Mustn’t we say, then, that the heretical sophists are no more than 
forgers of images of truth, who, like painters, know nothing of truth? For 
painters attempt to portray shipwrights, boats and pilots without knowing 
how to build or pilot ships. 

20.5 “Now then, let’s scrape their paint off, <if>you will, to convince those 
who, like children, admire such paintings that neither is this ship a ship, nor 
this pilot a pilot. It is a wall with its surface decorated for pleasure’s sake with 
paint and pictures, and the artists who made these things with their paints 
are imitators, not of a ship but of the image of a ship and pilot." 

20.6 “For one who is eager to hear you, your introduction is lengthy.” 

“Lengthy, my friend, but useful If one were to remove the words of inspired 

scripture which these people have daubed on their opinion with bright colors 
for their own deception, and have arrogantly called righteousness and truth 
when they know nothing about righteousness, how scornfully do you think 
they would be treated if they were stripped of such names?" 

“Very, ” replied Auxentius. 

20.7 “Would you like to be the leader on this journey, Auxentius,” I said, 
“or should I?” 

“By rights you should,” he said, “since you’re initiating the discussion.” 



21,1 “All right, it was said — come on, let’s examine Aglaophon’s mind a 
bit, going in order from the beginning. It was said that because of its trans- 
gression the soul has assumed this body we wear, after living blissfully with- 
out it in former times. ( 2 ) For < he said > that the skin tunics are the bodies in 
which it has been the soul’s lot to be shut up, to be punished for their deeds by 
carrying corpses. Or wasn’t this what you said first, Doctor, at the beginning? 
Come, if you think I’ve forgotten something, remind me.” 

20.3 “There’s no need to remind you of it; this was exactly what I said at 
the beginning. ” 

20.4 “Oh? As you went on, didn’t you also say repeatedly that, because of 
its preoccupation with adornment, comfort, and the other temptations that 
accompany the craving of the belly, the body is a hindrance to our under- 
standing and knowledge of the true reality? And further, that it is the cause 
of blasphemies and all sorts of sins, since by itself, apart from a body, a soul 
cannot sin at all? ( 5 ) And therefore the soul must remain free and devoid of 
a body after its departure, so that it may be without sin and transgression in 
the heavens, where, too, it will hold converse with the angels. For this body 
is the soul’s accessory and abettor in pollution and sin; ( 6 ) there is no way a 
soul can sin without a body. Hence, for its preservation without sin forever, 
the soul will never again receive the body, to incline it to corruption and 
unrighteousness here below. ” 

21.7 ‘Yes, this was also said. ” 

“Oh?” I said. “And do you think you’ve said this well and rightly?” 

“What difference does it make to you?" said Algaophon. “But you aren’t 
refuting my argument.” 

21.8 “No difference, ” said I, “but I want to see your argument tested by 
your own words. ” 

“I spoke well and rightly,” he said. 

“But if someone contradicts and disagrees with himself, do you think his 
case is put well and rightly?” 

“Indeed not!” 

21. 9 “Do you think he’s clumsily pretending to the truth?” 

“The worst of anyone," he said. 

“Then you don’t approve of someone who plays the tune of his words with 
a false note?” 

“I sure don’t!” 

21.10 “Then you can’t possibly approve of yourself, because you’re speak- 
ing clumsily. You’ve allowed that souls have strayed from God’s command- 
ment and sinned without bodies, and have said that God gave them the skin 



tunics later because of their wrongdoing so that they would be punished by 
carrying corpses — interpreting ‘tunics’ to mean the bodies. But in the course 
of your argument you forget your original proposition and say that, by itself 
the soul can’t sin. (11) Sinning is in no sense its nature; the body has become 
its accessory in evils of all sorts. Thus it will be without a body for all eternity, 
so that it may never again be incited to wickedness as it was before by the 
body. (12) And yet you had first said that the soul had sinned in Paradise 
before it had a body, when it was still blessed and free from pain. For once 
its sin had been strengthened because of its obedience to the serpent, the 
soul was given the body as a prison in punishment for its transgression of 
the commandment. 

21,13 “Thus either your former or your Latter statement is incorrect. Either 
the soul sinned before it had a body and won’t be any more of a sinner even 
if it doesn’t get one, and your blather about the body’s not rising is worth- 
less. Or else it sinned with a body, and the skin tunics can’t be considered to 
be bodies. (14) For the man clearly broke the divine commandment before 
the tunics were made; indeed, the tunics were made to cover the nakedness 
which had resulted from their sin. (15) But do I convince you, and do you see 
that you’ve offered contrary propositions’? Has this been made clear to you, 
Aglaophon, ” I asked, “or don’t you understand what I mean yet?" 

21,16 “I understand,” he said, and don’t need to hear anything twice; I 
failed to notice that I spoke incorrectly. If I allowed that the skin tunics are 
bodies, I was obliged to admit that the soul had sinned even before it entered 
a body, (17) for the transgression came before the making of the tunics. For 
the tunics are made for them because of the transgression, the transgression 
isn’t committed because of the tunics. And because of this admission I had 
to agree that this body is not an accessory to evil, but that the soul in itself 
is responsible. 

21,18 “Thus the soul will sin even if it doesn’t get the body, since even before 
it did, it sinned without a body. And it is foolish to say that the body cannot 
come back to life for fear of its becoming the soul’s accessory in sin. (lg) For 
just as the soul sinned even before it had a body, so it will sin after discard- 
ing the body, even if it doesn’t receive a body again. On these grounds, then, 
I must not approve of my or anyone else’s saying that the skin tunics are our 
bodies. For if I did, I would have to admit the truth of your argument." 

22,1 “But Aglaophon,” I said, “don’t you think you’ve made another 

“What error?” 



You said,” I replied, “that the body has been contrived as a prison and 
bond for the soul, and this is why the prophet called us ‘prisoners of earth,’ 76 
and David called us ‘bound.’” 77 

22.2 “I can’t answer you offhand," said Aglaophon. “But why not discuss 
it with someone else?” 

22.3 '4 nd I — I saw that he was embarrassed, and afraid of losing the 
argument. “Do you think I’m trying to refute you from envy,” I said, “and 
am not eager to clear the matter up? Don’t flag under questioning, friend. 
( 4 ) You see that we aren’t talking about unimportant matters, but about the 
way in which we are to believe. I doubt that anything does a man as much 
harm as the essentials of the faith, if he should have a false idea of them. 

22 , 5 78 “Come on, face my questions willingly! Explain yourself, and cor- 
rect me if you feel I am speaking an untruth, thinking more of the truth than 
of me. For I believe that to be refuted is better than to refute, to the same 
degree that to be saved from harm oneself is better than to save someone 
else from harm. ( 6 ) Well then, let’s compare our statements and see if there is 
any difference between them. The things we are arguing about are no small 
matters, but things which it is better to know about, and a disgrace not to. 
Well then, you don’t believe that the body returns to life, but I do." 

“Precisely, ” he said, “and this is the reason I have spoken. ” 

22.7 “And,” I went on, “you said that the body is a prison, dungeon, tomb, 
burden and chain, while I disagree." 

‘You’re right,” he said. 

22.8 “In fact, you’ve said that the body is an accessory to licentiousness, 
error, pain, anger, and in a word, all the other evils that hinder the soul’s 
improvement and do not allow us to attain the understanding and knowl- 
edge of true reality. ( 9 ) For even if we attempt a search for some part of 
reality, darkness always falls and obscures our reason, and does not permit 
us a clear view of the truth. For perception by our ears is full of deceit, as you 
said, and perception by our sight and by our other senses.” 

22,10 “Eubulius,” he said, “do you see that I’m ready to compliment you 
whenever you explain my words correctly?" 

23,1 “All right, to get you to compliment me some more — if you people 
think that the body is a prison, it cannot still be blamed for the soul’s wicked- 

76 Lam 3:34. 

77 Ps 145:7. 

78 From this point until the end of the chapter we renumber the paragraphs, to correct 
an apparent typographical error in Holl. 



ness and unrighteousness, but on the contrary, must be considered the cause 
of its moderation and discipline. (2) Look here, you can follow me better in 
this way. Where do we take people with bodily ailments? To the doctors, don’t 

“Obviously," said Aglaophon. 

23.3 “And where do we take criminals? Isn’t it to the magistrates?” 

“Of course!” 

“Is this so that they will be punished justly for what they have done?” 
I said. 


“But justice is the finest thing there is?” 

He agreed. 

“But is one who gives a just judgment right— for he is judging justly?” 

He assented. 

“But is the right thing beneficial?” 

“Plainly. ” 

23.4 “Then those who are judged are benefited. Their wickedness is 
removed because it is prevented by their torments, just as illnesses are 
removed by surgery and pharmacy at the doctor’s. For the punishment of 
the criminal is the correction of the soul, which throws off the severe disease 
of wickedness.” 

He agreed. 

23.5 “Oh? Wouldn’t you say that the punishments which are proportion- 
ate to their crimes are imposed with justice on criminals, just as surgery pro- 
portionate to their hurts is applied to patients?" 

He nodded. 

23.6 “Then one whose crimes deserve death is punished with death, one 
whose crimes deserve the lash is punished with the lash, and one whose 
crimes merit imprisonment is punished with prison?’’ 

Aglaophon agreed. 

23.7 “And the offender incurs the penalty of prison, blows, or some other 
punishment of the sort, so that he will reform and abandon his wickedness, 
like bent wood straightened by hard blows?” 

“You’re quite right,” he said. 

23.8 “The judge isn’t punishing him for his past crime but for the future, 
so that he won’t do it again?” 

“Plainly, ” he said. 

23, g “For it is plain that prison eliminates his criminal tendencies by not 
permitting him to do as he pleases?” 




23.10 “Then he is prevented from misbehaving, since his imprisonment 
does not Leave him free to enjoy his pleasures. It confines him and teaches 
him respect for what is right, until such time as he is chastened and learns 
good sense." 

“That is plain, ” said Aglaophon. 

23.11 “In that case imprisonment is not accessory to wrongdoing. ” 

“Evidently not.” 

“Instead, it teaches good sense and makes men better. It is the prophylac- 
tic of the soul, harsh and bitter but medicinal" 

“Plainly so,” he said. 

23.12 “Well then? Come, let’s examine the consequences once more. 
Didn’t you grant that the body is the prison of the soul because of its trans- 

“I did and I do,” he said. 

23.13 “But that the soul sins with the body — if you think that adultery, 
murder and impiety, which the soul commits with the body, are sin?” 

He nodded. 

23.14 “But we have agreed that a prisoner cannot commit crimes?" 

"We have, ” he said. 

“He is prevented from committing them because he is loaded with 


“And the flesh is the soul’s prison?” 

He nodded. 

23.15 “And yet we sin while we are in the flesh, with the consent of the 

“We do, ” he said. 

23.16 “But a prisoner in bonds can’t sin?” Here, too, he nodded. 

“For he is restrained?" 


“His bonds don’t permit him to sin?” 

“Obviously not.” 

23.17 “But the body is an aid to sin?" 


‘While the prison prevents it?" He agreed. 

23.18 “Then, Aglaophon," I said, “the body is not a prison on your prem- 
ises or anyone else’s. It is the soul’s aid either way, for good or evil.” 

He agreed 



24,1 “Then, Aglaophon, if this is the case, defend your first proposition. 
You said previously that the body is the prison, dungeon and bond of the 
soul. And do you see that what you said does not agree with what we are say- 
ing now? ( 2 ) How could it, my friend, if, on the one hand, we must suppose 
that the flesh is a prison, but on the other, that the soul has it as its partner 
in crime and its fellow prisoner? This isn’t possible. ( 3 ) If the body was given 
to the soul as a place of torment because of sin, so that the soul in pain may 
be taught to honor God, how can the body be the soul’s accomplice and part- 
ner in crime? Imprisonment, confinement, chains, and, in a word, all such 
corrective punitive devices are inhibitors of crime and sin for the prisoners. 
( 4 ) Prison is not prescribed for the wrongdoer as an aid in wrongdoing, so 
that he will do further wrong, but so that, tortured by his chains, he will stop. 
It is for this reason that judges put malefactors in chains. ( 5 ) Even against 
their will they are kept from evildoing by their shackles; evil is an option, not 
for prisoners but for free men who live unguarded. 

24,6 “Man first committed murder like Cain, progressed to unbelief, gave 
heed to idols, abandoned God. And why was the body given to him for a 
prison? Or, after man had transgressed before he had a body, why would 
God give him the body as an aid to greater wickedness? ( 7 ) Why does God 
say, 'Lo, I have set before thee life and death; choose life! I have set before thee 
good and evil; choose good l ' 79 after the making of the prison, and ‘If ye be 
willing and hearken unto me ?’ so These things were said to a person free to 
choose, not a prisoner under restraint. 

24,8 “On all grounds, then, it is established that < we must > not regard 
the body as a chain, imprisonment or incarceration, or souls as therefore 
‘prisoners of earth , 81 with God condemning them to be bound in chains of 
clay. ( 9 ) How can this be, when there is no proof of it? But it is also plainly 
absurd to suppose that the body will not accompany the soul in eternal life 
because it is a prison and a bond, to prevent our becoming prisoners forever, 
as they say, sentenced to corruption in the kingdom of light. ( 10 ) For once 
the assertion in which they declared the flesh to be the ‘prison of the soul’ 
has been refuted and discredited, the statement, ‘The flesh will not rise lest 
we become prisoners in the kingdom of light’ — and may this kingdom be 
ours! — is discredited as well. 

79 Deut 30:15. 

80 Isa 1:19. 

81 Cf. Lam 3:34. 



25.1 “Well, what other truth must I show to convince the captious, clearer 
than what has been said so that they will find it acceptable? One could 
refute this contention of theirs both by these arguments and by many more. 
(2) I shall prove in what follows, in the course of the discussion, with real 
truths and not with conjectures, that Jeremiah did not call us ‘prisoners of 
earth’ because of our partnership with the body, nor did David called us 
‘bound’ for this reason. (3) As to the skin tunics and the fact that our first 
parents had bodies before the tunics were made and still enjoyed immortal- 
ity, and further, that the body cannot be regarded as a prison and dungeon, 
I have made the appropriate remarks, gentlemen of the jury. ( For I sum- 
mon you to be the judges of my argument, ‘most excellent Theophilus.j 82 As 
I promised I turn now to the sequel, to give us a clearer view of the things we 
would like to see. ” 

26.1 God, the creator of all, brought all into being in good order like a 
great city, and regulated it by his decree. Each element had been joined in 
harmony by his will, and all had been filled with various living things, so that 
the world would grow to perfect beauty. He therefore gave life to all sorts 
of forms — stars in the sky, birds in the air, beasts on earth and fish in the 
water — and finally, after preparing the universe as a wonderfully beautiful 
home for him, God brought man into the world (2) as a likeness answering 
to his own image. He made him with his own hands like a glorious image in 
a noble temple. 

26,3 For it is understood that whatever God fashioned with his own hand 
must be immortal, being the work of immortality. (4) Immortal things are 
made immortal by immortality, as evil things are made evil by evil and 
unrighteous things unrighteous by unrighteousness. For unrighteous deeds 
are not the work of righteousness, but of unrighteousness. Nor, on the contrary, 
is righteous behavior the work of unrighteousness but of righteousness— just 
as corrupting is not the work of incorruption either but of corruption, and 
immortality not the work of corruption but of incorruption. 

26,5 And in a word, whatever the maker is Like, the product must neces- 
sarily be made Like, on the same principle. (6) But God is immortality, life 
and incorruption, and man is the work of God. Anything made by immortal- 
ity is immortal; man is therefore immortal This is why God created man in 
person, but ordered earth, air and water to bring forth the other kinds of 
living things. 

82 Luke 1:3. 



26.7 Man has been truly said to be neither a soul without a body by 
nature, nor a body without a soul, but that which, by the union of soul and 
body, has been compounded into the one form, that of the good. Hence it is 
plain that man was made immortal, free of decay and diseases. 

26.8 One may also learn this well enough from the scripture. Of the other 
creatures which are changed at intervals of time by being young and grow- 
ing old, it is said, “Let the waters bring forth creeping things ” 83 and “Let the 
earth bring forth living souls according to their kind, four-footed creatures 
and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kind .” 84 (9) 
But “Let the earth bring forth" is no longer said of man as it was of them, nor 
“Let the waters bring forth, ” nor “Let there be lights. " 85 Instead [we read] “Let 
us make man in our image and after our likeness, and let them have domin- 
ion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the sky, and over all cattle ,’’ 86 
and “God took dust from the earth and formed man. ” 87 

27,1 Now then, so that you too may further understand the difference 
< in > whole and in part between man and the other creatures, and how man 
ranks next to the angels in honor because of his immortality, let us take this 
question up in turn in accordance with the true and orthodox reasoning. 
(2) Animation and life were given to the others by their inhalation of the 
wind in the air, but to man by the immortal and all-excelling essence itself, 
for “God breathed into his countenance the breath of life, and man became 
a living soul 88 (3) The others were commanded to serve and be ruled, but 
man to rule and be the master. The others are given various natural shapes 
and forms, as many as their tangible, visible nature engendered at God’s 
bidding. (4) Man, however, is given God’s image and likeness, and entirely 
conformed to the original image of the Father and the Only-begotten. “For 
God created man; in the image of God created he him. ” 89 

27,5 Thus, as sculptors are concerned for their images, God was concerned 
for the preservation of his own image, lest it be easily destroyed. (6) Sculp- 
tors not only think of < the > beauty and loveliness of their pieces, to make 
them wonderfully beautiful, but also plan for their immortality as far as they 
can, so that they will be preserved for a long while without being broken. So 

83 Gen 1:20. 

84 Gen 1:24. 

85 Gen 1:14. 

86 Gen 1:26. 

87 Gen 2:7. 

88 Gen 2:7. 

89 Gen 1:26. 



with. Phidias. (7) After he had finished the Pisaean image — it was made of 
ivory — he had oil poured in front of the image around its feet, to keep it as 
nearly immortal as possible. (8) Now if this is so with the makers of human 
handiwork, did not the supreme craftsman, God, who can do all things and 
even create from nothing, of every necessity see to it that man, his own ratio- 
nal image, was wholly indestructible and immortal? Did he allow what he 
had seen fit to make in a distinctive way, and had fashioned with his own 
hands, in his image and after his likeness, to be most shamefully destroyed 
and consigned to ruin and corruption — the ornament of the world, for the 
sake of which the world was made? This cannot be said! Away with anyone 
so foolish, as to think it! 

28.1 But probably, Aglaophon, you people will not back off because of 
what has now been said, and will reply, “If the creature was immortal from 
the beginning, as you say, how has he become mortal? An immortal thing 
must remain unalterably what it is, without changing or degenerating into 
something inferior and mortal. This cannot be, since < it is not possible* > for 
an immortal < thing to come to die. ”* > 

28.2 [But it did], I shall say, because the enemy of all good came, and 
from envy bewitched the man who had been created with the authority to 
choose the good, and had received this ordinance. (3) “For God created man 
for immortality and made him an image of his own eternity . 90 Indeed, “God 
made not death, nor doth he rejoice in the destruction of the living ” 91 “but 
through envy of the devil death entered the world ,” 92 as Wisdom testified 
through Solomon. 

28.4 “Where did death come from, then?” If God did not make death, this 
has to be asked again. “If it came from envy, why was envy stronger than 
God’s purpose?” But this last is blasphemy, we shall say. 

28.5 “Where did envy come from, then?” our antagonist will say. “If 
from the devil, why was the devil made? If he was made, is his maker then 
responsible for the existence of evil? (6) But God is in no way responsible 
for anyone’s evil. Thus the devil must be uncreated — and if uncreated, also 
impassible, indestructible and in need of nothing.” 

An uncreated thing must necessarily possess all these attributes, and yet 
the devil is brought to nothing and chastised. Now whatever is chastised 

90 Wisd Sol 2:23. 

91 Wisd Sol 1:13. 

92 Wisd Sol 2:24. 



undergoes change and suffers, while an uncreated thing cannot suffer. The 
devil, therefore, is not uncreated but created. 

28.7 But if the devil is created, and every created thing originates from 
some beginning and has a creator, the devil has a creator. And is the creator 
uncreated or created? But it must be understood that there is only one uncre- 
ated, God. Nor can there in any conceivable way be any creator whatever 
other than he. “I am the first and I am the last," he says, “and besides me 
there is no God .” 93 

28.8 Nor can anything be changed or created contrary to God’s will. Even 
the Son acknowledges that “He can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth 
the Father do. What things soever the Father doeth, ” he says, “the Son doeth 
likewise .” 94 (9) Surely God can have no antagonist, opponent or rival god. 
If anything were to oppose God it would cease to exist, for its being would be 
destroyed by God’s power and might. For only the Maker can destroy — even 
the things that are immortal. 

29,1 “Then what is the devil?" you will say. A spirit assigned to matter, as 
Athenagoras has also said . 95 He was created by God like the other angels, 
and entrusted with the oversight of matter and material forms. (2) For this 
was the origin of the angels — their creation by God for the care of his created 
order. Thus God would have the general and universal care of the universe, 
having attached the supreme authority and power over all to himself and 
guiding the whole on a straight course, like a ship, with the rudder of his 
wisdom; but angels who have been assigned to it would have the care of the 
various parts. 

2g,3 The other angels kept to the tasks for which God had made and 
appointed them, but the devil mocked at his and became evil in the manage- 
ment of the things which had been entrusted to him. He conceived envy of us, 
like the angels who later became enamored of flesh and consorted with the 
daughters of men for pleasure. (4) For as in man’s case, so to the angels God 
has allotted a will free to choose good or evil, either to obey his command, be 
with him and enjoy beatitude, or else to disobey and be judged. 

2g,5 The devil too was a “morning star” — “How hath the morning star 
fallen from heaven, that riseth in the morning !” 96 He once rose with the 
angels of Light, once was a morning star, but he fell, was dashed to the earth, 
and is [now] the governor of the forces hostile to man. For the Godhead is 

93 Isa 44:6. 

94 John 5:19. 

95 Athenagoras Legatio 24.2. 

96 Isa 14:12. 



angry with the proud and balks their arrogant purposes. ( 6 ) But it occurs to 
me to say in verse, 

Thou serpent, source and end of ills for all, 

Thou bearer of a grievous store of woes, 

Thou false guide of a blind world’s ignorance, 

That joyest in the wails and groans of men! 

‘Twas thou that armed the fratricidal arms 

Of kin to deeds of lawless violence. 

By thy contriving Cain first fouled the soil 

With secret bloodshed, and the first-formed man 

Fell to the earth from realms unblemished. 

30.1 That is what the devil is. But death was devised for the sake of con- 
version, just as blows were devised for the correction of children beginning 
to read. For death is nothing but the severance and separation of soul from 

30.2 “What, then,” you will say, “is God the cause of death?” Again the 
same answer comes to me, “No indeed! Neither are teachers primarily 
responsible for children’s being hurt by the blows. ( 3 ) Death is a good thing, 
then, if, like blows for children, it was devised for conversion. A word to the 
wise — [I do not mean] the death of sin, but the death of the sundering and 
separation of the flesh [from the soul].” 

30,4 The man was responsible for himself and his own master, and as I 
said, had received a free will and the liberty to choose the good. And he had 
been told, “From every tree in the garden ye may eat, but from the tree of the 
knowledge of good and evilye may not eat thereof. For in the day wherein ye 
eat of it, ye shall surely die .” 97 ( 5 ) But once he had given in with regard to 
eating of it to the devil, who was inciting his entrapped wisdom to all sorts 
of disobedience, he set God’s command aside. And this became a stumbling 
block, snare and hindrance for him. 

25.6 For God did not make evil, and is absolutely not responsible, in any 
way at all, for any evil But when any creature which God has created free to 
observe and keep the law he has justly enjoined, fails to keep that law, that 
creature is called evil. And to disobey God, by overstepping the bounds of 
righteousness of one’s own free will, is the most serious harm. 

25.7 Thus, because the man was spotted and sullied by his rejection of 
God’s decree, and was smeared with the stains of the great evils the prince 
of darkness and father of deceit had brought forth — and because, as the 

97 Gen 2:16-17. 



scripture says, he was sentenced to hard labor so that the devil could keep 
deceiving him and inciting him to unrighteousness — God the almighty, see- 
ing that, as the devil was a deceiver, man had been made an immortal evil 
by the devil’s plot, ( 8 ) made the skin tunics, as though to clothe the man with 
mortality, so that all the evil which had been engendered in him would die 
with the destruction of his body. 

31,1 These questions have already been raised, and it has been shown 
that the skin tunics were not Adam’s and Eve’s bodies. Still, let us explain 
it once more — it is not a thing to be said only once. ( 2 ) The first man him- 
self acknowledged that he had bones and flesh before the tunics were made, 
when he saw the woman brought to him and cried, “This is now bone of my 
bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called, Wife, for she was taken out 
of her husband. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and 
cleave unto his wife, and the two shall be one flesh .” 98 

31,3 For I have no intention of putting up with certain chatterboxes who 
do violence to the scripture without a blush, suggest that they were “intelligi- 
ble bones” and “intelligible flesh, ” and turn things topsy-turvy with allegories 
in one passage after another, as their excuse for saying that the resurrection 
is not a resurrection of flesh. ( 4 ) This though Christ confirms the fact that the 
scripture should be taken as written, when he answers the Pharisees’ ques- 
tion about the divorce of a wife with “Flaveye not read that in the beginning 
the creator made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a 
man leave his father and mother ,” 99 and so forth? How can “Be fruitful and 
fill the earth ?” 100 be taken merely of souls? Or ( 5 ) “God took dust from the 
earth and formed the man ” 101 which is plainly said of the body proper? The 
soul was not made of earth and the heavier materials. ( 6 ) Thus it is estab- 
lished with full certainty that the man was provided with a body before the 
skin tunics were made. For all these things are said before his fall, but the 
making of the tunics is described after the fall. 

31,7 Let us thus return to the investigation of the matter in hand, since we 
have given sufficient proof that the skin tunics were not [Adam’s and Eve’s ] 
bodies, but the mortality which was made for beasts because of the beasts’ 
want of reason — for only this explanation remains. ( 8 ) Rest assured, the man 
was exiled from Paradise for the following reason. God did not expel him 
because he did not want him to pick fruit from the tree of life and live— for he 

98 Gen 2:23-24. 

99 Matt 19:4-5. 

100 Gen 1:28. 

101 Gen 2:7. 



could, have lived forever if he had eaten once more, [a fruit] from [the tree] of 
life. God did this, as we have stated, to keep evil from becoming immortal. 

31,9 For if it was at all God’s will that man die altogether without tast- 
ing life, why did God sent Christ from heaven to earth? (10) If my opponent 
should say that God did this because he had changed his mind, his argu- 
ment would be feeble because it introduced a changeable God. But God is 
neither ignorant of the future nor malignant; indeed, he is supremely good, 
and foreknows that which is to come. (11) Thus God did not expel the man 
to prevent his eating from the tree of life and living forever, but so that sin 
would be killed first, by death. Then, with sin withered away after death, the 
man would arise cleansed and taste of life. 

32.1 And no idiot should gamble that these things are meant in some 
other sense. For whoever decides that this flesh is incapable of immortality 
is indeed responsible for the ailment of his stupidity, and is a blasphemer. 
(2) If it were simply impossible for man to live forever without a body, why is 
Adam cast out after the making of the skin tunics, and kept from eating of 
the tree of life and living? (3) The prohibition is predicated on the assump- 
tion that, if he takes fruit from the tree of life and tastes it, he can avoid 
death. For scripture says, “And the Lord God made tunics of skin for Adam 
and his wife, and clothed them. And God said, Behold, Adam hath become 
as one of us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put forth his hand and 
take of the tree of life and eat and live forever. And the Lord God sent him 
forth from the delight of Paradise to till the ground whence he was taken, 
and he cast Adam out .” 102 

32,4 Thus the body could have lived forever and been immortal if it had 
not been prevented from tasting life. But it was prevented so that sin would 
be put to death with the body and die, but the body would rise washed clean 
of sin. (5) As I said, God made the body mortal by clothing it with mortal- 
ity to keep man from being an immortal evil with the conquering sin alive 
in him forever — as it would be if it had sprouted in an immortal body and 
had immortal nourishment. (6) Hence the skin tunics — so that, through the 
body’s destruction and its separation [ from the soul], the sin underneath it 
would perish entirely, from the root up, leaving not even the smallest bit of 
root for new shoots of sins to sprout from again. 

33.1 If a fig tree < has > taken root and grown tall and broad in the beau- 
tiful buildings of a temple, and has covered all the joints of the stones with 
intricate roots, its growth cannot be halted until it is uprooted altogether, 

102 Gen 3:21-24. 



and the stones in the places where It sprouted are destroyed. ( 2 ) For the 
stones can be set back in the same places once the fig tree is removed, so 
that the temple will be preserved and no longer harbor any of the ills that 
were destroying it. But as the fig tree has been uprooted altogether, it will 
die. ( 3 ) Thus, with the temporary visitations of death, God, the architect, 
destroyed his temple, man, who had sprouted sin like a wild fig — “killing 
and making alive ,” 103 as the scripture says — so that, once the sin had 
withered and died, the flesh would rise again from the same places like a 
temple restored, immortal and unharmed because the sin had perished alto- 
gether from the ground up. 

33,4 While the body is still alive before death, sin of necessity lives within 
us and conceals its roots within us, even though it is checked on the out- 
side by the cuts of cautions and admonitions. For after his enlightenment no 
one can do further wrong; sin has simply been removed from us altogether. 
( 5 ) However, we often find ourselves in sins even after coming to faith and 
the water of purification. For no one will boast that he is so free of sin that 
he never even thinks of wrong at all. 

33,6 Thus, as matters stand, sin is reduced and lulled to sleep by faith, 
and cannot bear harmful fruit; but it has certainly not been destroyed roots 
and all. ( 7 ) Here we remove its flowerings — evil thoughts, for example — “lest 
any root of bitterness trouble us," W4 and we do not let them open, opening 
their closed pores to suckers. For like an ax the word chops sin’s roots off as 
they grow below. Then, however, even the thought of evil will be done away. 

34,1 Nor does the text of scripture fail to witness to this, for those who 
sincerely desire to hear the truth. The apostle knows that the root of sin is 
still not entirely removed from men, and declares, “I know that in me, that is, 
in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing. For to will is present with me, but how to 
perform what is good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; but the 
evil which I would not, that do I. If, then, I do that which I would not, it is no 
more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. ” 105 ( 2 ) And 7 delight in the law 
of God after the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring 
against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin 
which is in my members. ” 106 

34,3 Thus sin has not yet been entirely dug out by the roots, but is alive. 
(For it is not wholly dead; how can it be, before the man is clothed with death?) 

103 Deut 32:39. 

104 Heb 12:15. 

105 Rom 7:18-20. 

106 Rom 7:22-23. 



[It is alive], to wither and fade with the man, and to be utterly destroyed and 
perish — like a plant, when < the stone > is destroyed in < the place > where, 
as I said, it preserved its roots by concealing them. But the man will rise 
again, with no further “root of bitterness " 107 lurking within him. 

34.4 For death and destruction were employed as an antidote by our true 
protector and physician, God, for the uprooting of sin. Otherwise evil would 
be eternal in us, like an immortal thing growing in immortals, and we our- 
selves would live like the diseased for a a long time, maimed and deprived of 
our native virtue, as persons who harbor the severe diseases of sin in everlast- 
ing and immortal bodies. (5) It is a good thing then, that God has devised 
death — this cure, like a medicinal purgative, of both soul and body — to 
leave us altogether spotless and unharmed. 

35,1 Now then, since a number of illustrations of such matters are 
needed, let us by all means look for them, and not leave off until our argu- 
ment ends with a clearer explanation and proof. (2) It is plainly just as 
though the best of artists were to remelt a lovely likeness he had made of 
gold or another material with all its limbs in proportion for beauty’s sake, 
because he suddenly realized that it had been mutilated by some vicious 
person, who injured the piece because, from malice, he could not bear that 
it be beautiful, and reaped the empty fruit of envy. (3) With your great wis- 
dom, Aglaophon, observe that if the artist did not want the piece he had 
created with so much zeal and care to be completely ruined and an eyesore, 
he would be well advised to melt it down again and make it as it was before. 
(4) If he did not remelt and refashion it, however, but < merely > patched 
and repaired it and left it as it is, the piece, which was hardened in the fire 
and cast in bronze, could never be kept the same, but would be altered, and 
diminished in value. 

35.5 Thus if he wanted his work to be entirely good and flawless, he must 
break it up and recast it, so that the flaws, and all the alterations produced in 
it by treachery and envy, would be done away by its destruction and recast- 
ing, but the sculpture restored undamaged and unblemished to its own form, 
once more exactly like itself. (6) For even if it is dissolved back into its raw 
material, in the hands of the same artist the statue cannot be destroyed, but 
can be restored. Its blemishes and mutilations can be destroyed, however, for 
they are melted. They cannot be restored, for in every art the best craftsman 
looks, not to the ugliness of his work or its accidental flaws, but to its sym- 
metry and tightness. 

107 Heb 12:15. 



35,7 For it seems to me that God has dealt with us in the same way. He 
saw his handsomest work, man, spoiled by the malicious plots of envy, and 
in his loving kindness could not bear to leave him like that, or he would be 
flawed forever and marred with an immortal blemish. He has reduced him 
to his raw material again, so that all his flaws may be melted and done away 
with by the refashioning. ( 8 ) For the remelting of the sculpture in my meta- 
phor stands for the death and dissolution of the body; and the remodeling 
and reshaping of the material stands for the resurrection. ( 9 ) The prophet 
Jeremiah himself has already made the same recommendation in the fol- 
lowing passage: “And I went down to the house of the potter, and lo, he was 
making a work upon the stones. And the vessel he was making broke in his 
hands, and again he made it another vessel, as it pleased him to do. And the 
word of the Lord came unto me saying, Can I not make you as this potter, 0 
house of Israel? Behold, as the potter’s clay are ye in my hands ." 108 

36,1 Observe that, after the man’s transgression, the great hand of God 
did not choose to abandon its work forever, like a counterfeit coin, to the evil 
one who had unjustly harmed it by reason of his envy. Instead it melted and 
reduced it to clay once more, like a potter reshaping a vessel to remove all 
its flaws and cracks by the reshaping, but make it once again entirely flaw- 
less and acceptable. ( 2 ) “Or hath not the potter power over the clay, of the 
same lump to make one vessel unto honor, and another unto dishonor ”- 109 in 
other words— for I am sure that this is what the apostle means — does God 
not have the power to reshape and refashion each of us from the same raw 
material and raise us each individually, to our honor and glory or to our 
shame and condemnation? To the shame of those who have lived wickedly 
in sins, but to the honor of those who have lived in righteousness. ( 3 ) This 
was revealed to Daniel also, who says, “And many of them that sleep in the 
dust of the earth shall arise, some to eternal life, some to shame and ever- 
lasting contempt. And they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the 
firmament. ” 110 

36,4 It is not in our power to remove the root of wickedness entirely, but to 
prevent it from spreading and bearing fruit. Its full and complete destruction, 
roots and all, is accomplished by God, as I said, at the dissolution of the body; 
but its partial destruction, so that it will not bud, is accomplished by our- 
selves. ( 5 ) And thus whoever fosters the increase and growth of wickedness 

108 Jer 18:3-6. 

109 Rom 9:21. 

110 Dan 12:2-3. 



Instead, but does not make It as barren as he can and reduce its size, must 
pay the penalty. For though he had the ability and the right to do this, he 
chose to prefer the harmful to the helpful. 

37.1 Thus no one, with wagging tongue, may blame the Godhead for not 
giving each his just reward for vice or virtue; the man himself is at fault. 
“Who art thou, 0 man, that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say 
to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” 111 ( 2 ) How can it? 
The man chose evil of his own free will! He may not ask the God who judges 
< with > unvaryingly righteous decrees, Why hast thou made me to be thus 
condemned to torment?” 

37,3 For note how, by deftly darting brief quotations, like a spearman, 
into the body of his words, Paul makes the interpretation of the readings 
unclear and extremely difficult, although they are entirely true and orthodox 
and contain nothing careless or evil. 112 ( 4 ) To those who look into the 
words with no zeal but mean-spiritedly, they sometimes seem disjointed and 
inconsistent; but to those who do this zealously and with sober reason, they 
are correspondingly full of order and truth. ( 5 ) Only a treatise in itself would 
be enough for a full and accurate discussion of this at this time. Indeed, it 
would be ridiculous to abandon your inquiry which has led me to compose 
this, and shift to other subjects. 

37,6 For I have said this because of the justice which punishes willful 
evildoers. But now that we have made it abundantly clear that death was 
not devised for man’s harm but < for his good*>, whoever opens this book 
with a good will must have an understanding of the resurrection of the body. 

( 7 ) 113 How can death not be beneficial, when it destroys the things that prey 
upon our nature? Even though it is unpleasant at the time, while it is being 
administered, it < is > plainly a medicine, of a very bitter sort, for the patient. 

( 8 ) But now then! Not to make the same points time and again about the 
same things, let us further confirm what we have said from the Song in Deu- 
teronomy, and then go on to take up the rest. 

38.1 For what does God’s “I shall kill, and I shall make alive; I shall smite 
and I shall heal, and there is none that shall deliver out of my hand,’’ 114 
mean to teach but that the body is first killed and dies, so that it may rise 
and live again? ( 2 ) It is struck and shattered first, so that it may be remade 

111 Rom 9:20; Isa 29:16. 

112 The quotation Methodius means is that of Isa 29:16 at Rom 9:20. The subject he 
declines to discuss is presumably that of predestination. 

113 The next two paragraphs are renumbered to correct a numbering error in Holl. 

114 Deut 32:19. 



sound and whole. (3) And nothing has any power whatever to take it from 
God’s great and mighty hand for ruin and destruction — not fire, not death, 
not darkness, not chaos, not corruption. (4) “Who shall separate us from 
the love of Christ?” says scripture — {“Christ” means the Father’s Hand and 
Word.) “Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or naked- 
ness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake are we killed all day 
long; we are counted as sheep appointed to be slain. Nay, in all these things 
we are more than conquerors through him that loved us .” u5 

38,5 Absolutely true! This serves as the fulfillment of “I shall kill, and I 
shall make alive" — as I said — “I shall smite and I shall heal “And there is 
no one to “take us, ’’for our destruction, “from the love of God that is in Christ 
Jesus.” Thus we are “reckoned as sheep for the slaughter," “to die to sin and 
live to God .” 116 So much for this line of inquiry; here, once again, we must 
take up the next question. 

39.1 Suppose that, as my opponent proposes, every procreated thing is ill 
in its origin and diet— for it increases in size from what is added to it, and 
becomes smaller because of what is subtracted from it. But whatever is not 
procreated is in good health, since it is not ill and has no needs or desires. 
Procreated things, however, desire both sex and food, but to have desires is 
illness, while to have no needs or desires is health. And procreated things 
are ill because they have desires, while things not procreated are not ill. And 
things that are ill suffer from a surplus or deficiency of the things which are 
added to them or taken away from them. Now anything that suffers both 
withers and perishes, since it is procreated. But man is procreated. Therefore 
man cannot be impassible and immortal. 

39.2 But even as stated, the argument fails. If everything must perish if it 
is either brought into being or procreated — we may as well say it this way, 
because the first man and woman were not procreated, but were brought 
into being, but both angels and souls are brought into being for the scripture 
says, “He maketh his angels spirits” 117 — then, on their premises, angels and 
souls must perish! (3) But neither angels nor souls perish; they are immortal 
and indestructible as their maker intends them to be. Man too, therefore, is 

39,4 No more satisfactory is the argument that all things will be destroyed 
completely and there will be no more earth, air and heaven. The whole world 

115 Rom 8:35-37. 

116 Rom 6:10. 

117 Ps 103:4. 



will be overwhelmed with a deluge of fire, and burned to ashes for its puri- 
fication and renewal, but will certainly not come to entire destruction and 
dissolution. ( 5 ) If the non-existence of the world is better than its existence, 
why did God make the poorer choice and create the world’? But God made 
nothing to no purpose or inferior. ( 6 ) Thus God ordered the creation in such 
a way that it would exist and endure, as Wisdom proves by saying, “God hath 
created all things to exist, and sound are the origins of the world; in them 
is no poison of destruction .” 118 ( 7 ) And Paul plainly testifies to this with his 
words, “The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation 
of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, 
but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, because creation 
itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of destruction to the glorious 
liberty of the children of God. ” u9 ( 8 ) Here he chooses to call this world a 
“creature, ” and says that “the creature was made subject to vanity, ” but that 
it expects to be set free from such bondage. For it is not the invisible things 
that are enslaved to corruption, but these, the visible ones. 

39,9 The “creature,” then, endures, renewed once more and in a come- 
lier form, and is joyous and glad for the sons of God at the resurrection, 
though now it groans for them and shares their travail, while it too awaits 
our redemption from the perishability of the body. ( 10 ) Then, when we are 
raised and have shaken off the mortality of our flesh — as scripture says, 
“Shake off the dust, rise and sit down, 0 Jerusalem" 120 — and when we are 
set free from sin, it too will be set free from corruption and no longer enslaved 
to “vanity,” but to righteousness. ( 11 ) “For we know,” says scripture, “that all 
creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain until now. And not only 
they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we our- 
selves groan within ourselves waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption 
of the body. ” 121 

39,12 And Isaiah says, “For as the new heavens and the new earth which 
I make remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name 
be. ” 122 And again, “Thus saith the Lord that created the heavens, this God 
that formed the earth and made it. He established its bounds, he created it 
not in vain, but to be inhabited. ” 123 ( 13 ) Indeed God has not created the world 

118 Wisd Sol 1:14. 

119 Rom 8:19-20. 

120 Isa 52:2. 

121 Rom 8:22-23. 

122 Isa 66:22. 

123 Isa 45:18. 



to no purpose or in vain, for destruction, as those who think vain thoughts 
would have it. He has made it to be, to be inhabited and to abide. There- 
fore heaven and earth must once more be, after the burning up and boiling 
away of all things. ( 14 ) To explain the necessity of this would require an even 
longer discussion. For after its dissolution the universe will not be reduced 
to inert matter, and its state before its establishment. Nor, again, will it be 
reduced to total destruction and decay. 

40.1 But suppose our opponents say, “If the universe will not be destroyed, 
why did the Lord say that heaven and earth would pass away? And why did 
the prophet say that the heaven would perish like smoke, and the earth grow 
old like a garment ’?” 124 

40.2 “Because," we shall reply, “scripture’s way is to call the world’s 
change from its present state to a better and more glorious one a ‘destruc- 
tion,’ like the change of anything to a more glorious form when its previous 
form is done away with; there is no contradiction or anomaly in the sacred 
scripture. ( 3 ) ‘The form of this world passeth away ,’ 125 but the world does 
not. Thus scripture’s way is to call the change of a previous form to a bet- 
ter, and sometimes a lovelier one, a ‘destruction, ’ ( 4 ) as one might call the 
change from one’s form in babyhood to maturity a ‘destruction’ because the 
stature of the infant is changed in its size and handsomeness. “For when I 
was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; 
but when I became a man, I put away childish things .” 125 

40,5 We would expect the creature to be troubled because it is to die in 
the conflagration and be created anew, but we would not expect it to per- 
ish. Thus we, the newly created, shall dwell free from sorrow in the newly 
created world — as the hundred and third Psalm says, “Thou shalt send 
forth thy Spirit and they shall be made, and thou shalt renew the face of the 
earth” 127 — with God at last, the regulator of its mild climate, surrounding it. 
( 6 ) For if there is to be an earth even after this age, there is every necessity 
that it also have inhabitants, who will never again die, marry and be born, 
but like the angels will unchangingly perform the best of works in immortal- 
ity. ( 7 ) Thus it is silly to ask how bodies can exist then where there will be no 
air or earth or the rest. 

41,1 But if we are to discuss such important matters with confidence, 
Aglaophon, something beyond what we have said is worth our looking into, 

124 Ps 101:27. 

125 1 Cor 7:13. 

126 1 Cor 13:11. 

127 Ps 103:30. 



since it occasions a great deal of error. ( 2 ) After you said that, when the 
Sadducees tested him, the Lord declared that those who attain the resurrec- 
tion will be like angels, you added, “But the angels, who have no flesh, are in 
the highest state of beatitude, and therefore also of glory. Thus if we are to 
equal the angels, we, like them, must be without flesh. ” ( 3 ) But, Sir, you have 
not understood that He who created the universe from nothing and set it in 
order, did not adorn it by allotting the nature of immortals to angels and 
ministers only, but to principalities, authorities and thrones as well. ( 4 ) The 
angels are one species and the principalities and authorities are another, 
for there is not [just] one rank, condition, tribe and family of immortals, but 
different species, tribes and varieties. The cherubim cannot relinquish their 
own nature and be changed into the form of angels; nor, in turn, can angels 
be changed into some other form. They must be the same as they are and 
have been. 

41,5 But man too, who was charged <at> the first ordering of the uni- 
verse to inhabit the world and rule all its denizens — man is immortal and 
will never be changed from his manhood into the form of the angels or any 
of the others. For no more can the angels be changed from their original 
form and turned into that of the others. ( 6 ) Christ did not come to announce 
the remaking or transformation of human nature into some other, but its 
change into its original nature before its fall, when it was immortal. ( 7 ) Each 
created thing must remain in its own assigned place, so that all may be filled 
with all: the heavens with angels; the thrones with powers; the luminaries 
with ministering spirits; the most sacred places and the pure and undefiled 
lights, with the seraphim who stand beside the great Will which controls the 
universe; and the world with men. ( 8 ) But if we grant that men are changed 
into angels, it is time to say that the angels can also be changed into powers, 
and the powers into one thing and another, until the ascending list incurs 
risk . 128 

42,1 But it is not as though God made man inferior or slipped up in the 
process of fashioning him, and like the poorest of workmen later changed 
his mind and decided to make him an angel; or that he meant to make an 
angel at first and could not, but made a man. This is incompetence. ( 2 ) If he 
wanted the man to become an angel and not a man, why ever did he make 
him a man and not an angel? Because he couldn’t? < This > is blasphemy! 
( 3 ) But did he put off doing the better thing and do the worse? This too is 
absurd. God neither makes mistakes nor puts off doing a good thing, nor 

128 I.e., reaches the point of suggesting that something may become God. 



Lacks the power [to do it]. He has the power to do both as he wills and when 
he wills, for God is Power. 

42.4 Very well, God created the man at the first and willed that he be a 
man. But if he willed it, and he wills what is good — and if man is good — 
and if man is said to be composed of soul and body — then man will not be 
bodiless [at the resurrection] but embodied, or man will be other than man. 
( 5 ) For the immortal species must all be preserved by God. But man too is 
immortal, for Wisdom says, “God created man for immortality, and made 
him by his own eternity .” 129 The body does not perish, then, for man is body 
and soul. 

43,1 Understand, then, that the Lord meant to teach these very things, 
because the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection of the flesh. This 
is Sadducean doctrine, and so, to decry the doctrine of the resurrection of 
the flesh, they made up the parable of the woman and the seven brothers, 
and came to him. (The evangelist, of course, added “came to him” himself, 
when he said, “Likewise Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, 
came to him .”) 1 ' 30 ( 2 ) Now if there were no resurrection of flesh but only the 
soul were saved, Christ would have agreed that their opinion was good and 
right. But he refutes them instead by saying, “In the resurrection they neither 
marry nor are given in marriage, but are as angels in heaven 131 — ( 3 ) not by 
having no flesh, but by neither marrying nor being married but finally being 
immortal, and among the luminaries. They will be very like the angels in this 
respect — that, like the angels in heaven, we in Paradise will not spend our 
time in weddings and banquets, but in seeing God and enjoying eternal life 
under Christ’s headship. 

43.4 For Christ did not say, “They shall be angels,” but, “They shall be like 
angels" — as [in the scriptural text], “crowned with glory and honor and but 
a little different from the angels ,” 132 and nearly angels. ( 5 ) It is as though 
one were to say that on a balmy, calm night when all was illuminated with 
the moon’s heavenly radiance, the moon shone “like” the sun. We would cer- 
tainly not say he was testifying that the moon “was” the sun, but that it was 
“like" the sun, ( 6 ) just as a material which is not gold but gold< en> is not 
said to be “gold,” but “like gold." If it were gold, itwould not be called “golden” 
but “gold"; but since it is not gold, but is < almost > gold and looks like gold, 
it is not called “gold” but "golden. ” 

129 Wisd Sol 2:23. 

130 Matt 22:23. 

131 Matt 22:30. 

132 Ps 8:6. 



43,7 Thus, when Christ says that the saints will be as angels in the resur- 
rection, we do not understand him to be promising that the saints will actu- 
ally be angels in the resurrection, but that they will nearly be angels. ( 8 ) And 
it is the height of absurdity to deny the resurrection of bodies because Christ 
declared that the saints will look like angels in the resurrection, although the 
word itself clearly indicates the nature of the event. 

43,9 For “rising" is not said of a thing that has not fallen, but of one that 
has fallen and gets up, as the prophet says, “And I will raise up the taberna- 
cle of David that is fallen. ” 133 But the beloved tabernacle of the soul has fallen 
“to dusty earth , 134 for it is not the undying thing that topples over, but the 
thing that dies. It is flesh that dies, for the soul is immortal. ( 10 ) Now then, if 
the soul is immortal and the dead man is a body, those who say that there is 
a resurrection, but not a resurrection of the flesh, are denying that there is a 
resurrection. For it is not the thing that has been standing that rises, but the 
thing that has fallen and dropped, as scripture says, “Doth that which falleth 
not rise, or shall that which turneth away not turn back ?” 135 

44,1 Now the Lord has plainly taught that the soul is immortal, both in his 
own words and through the mouth of Solomon. He has taught it in his own 
words in the story of the rich man and the poor man Lazarus, by showing 
the one at rest in Abraham’s bosom after the discarding of his body, but the 
other in torments which he described in conversation with Abraham. ( 2 ) And 
he taught it through Solomon in the book entitled Wisdom, where it is written 
that “The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God and there shall no 
torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die and their 
departure was taken for misery, and their going from us for utter destruc- 
tion. But they are in peace, and their hope is full of immortality .” 136 ( 3 ) Thus 
resurrection is of a body, not of a soul. One does not raise a person who is on 
his feet but a person who is lying down, just as not a healthy individual, but 
a sufferer is doctored. 

44,4 And if anyone insists that resurrection will apply to the soul and not 
the flesh, this is a lot of foolishness and nonsense. One must first prove a 
corresponding decay and dissolution of the soul to prove its resurrection as 
well, and not by talking nonsense but by the clear statement of a plain fact. 
( 5 ) But no matter, let us allow him to declare the soul mortal. Here we must 
make one of two assumptions. Either the Lord’s declaration is untrue when 

133 Amos 9:11. 

134 Dan 12:2. 

135 Jer 8:5. 

136 Wisd Sol 3:1-4. 



he teaches that the soul is immortal, and whoever says that it does not per- 
ish is lying; or else it perishes, and Christ is < telling > a lie by teaching both 
in his story of the rich man and the poor man and in the vision of Moses 
and Elijah, that it is indestructible and immortal. ( 6 ) But the Lord has never 
contradicted himself or lied. He was not showing an image or simulacrum 
of Elijah and Moses on the mount with the intent of deceiving the apostles, 
but showing truthfully what they were. So even the slowest learner, as we 
might say, can learn that he is immortal, and affirm the indestructibility of 
the soul 

45.1 Resurrection, then, is a resurrection of the flesh and not of the soul, 
so that the tabernacle of David which has fallen into decay may arise and, 
risen and rebuilt, remain undamaged and unfallen for all eternity. ( 2 ) For 
God was not concerned that David’s stone house be built to give him a fine 
home in the kingdom of heaven, but that his flesh, the tabernacle of the soul, 
be built, which he had fashioned with his own hands. 

45,3 With your immense wisdom, Aglaophon, you must regard it in this 
way. You are sure to understand it very easily if you think of the image of 
going to sleep and getting up. If going to sleep results from waking and get- 
ting up results from sleeping, and this is a rehearsal for death and resur- 
rection — “to the twins, sleep and death!” 137 — then, since rising results from 
[the sleep of] sleepers, the quickening to life of the flesh must be the result of 
death. ( 4 ) For if waking issues from sleep, and the sleeper certainly does not 
just go on sleeping in the same posture but gets up again, so life will issue 
from death; and the man who dies surely does not remain so because he dies. 
( 5 ) For if waking issues from sleep, rising from falling and rebuilding from 
destruction, how can we possibly not expect the resurrection of the fallen and 
the quickening of the dead? 

45,6 And observe, if you will, not only from sleeping and rising but from 
seeds and shoots as well, how the resurrection is proclaimed in them all. Note 
how seeds are put into the ground “bare, ” 138 as the scripture says, without 
any flesh, and, rendered back again mature. If seeds died and decayed, but 
there were no more revival and sprouting of the seeds, why would it not be 
the lot of all things to be dissolved in death? 

46.1 But for now, “most excellent Theophilus ,” 139 and you other judges 
of the debate, I shall forbear to say more about this. Let us take up his next 

137 Iliad 16.672. 

138 1 Cor 15:37. 

139 Luke 1:3. 



points as well, since they are far from satisfactory. (2) For again, in my 
opponent’s forced, unnatural interpretation of the prophecy in the sixty-fifth 
Psalm, God takes sinners’ actual souls, and as punishment for their sins puts 
them < into > the flesh as into a “snare .” 140 But rather than orthodoxy, this is 
absurdity. (3) If the souls had possessed bodies before the transgression, as 
I have already pointed out, why would they be stuffed into bodies later, after 
their transgression, <as> into a snare? There was no time for them to sin 
before they got their bodies. 

46,4 It makes no sense to say one minute that the souls have sinned 
because of the body, and the next that the body was made for condemnation 
as a prison and a snare, because they had sinned. (5) If they sinned because 
of the body, then the body was with them from the first, even before the sin. 
For how could they sin because of something which was not yet in existence? 
(6) But again, if the body itself is regarded as a snare, chains and a prison, 
the combination [of body and soul] cannot be responsible for the sin; it must 
be the soul alone. For bonds, snares and chains are made for the sinner after 
his sin. 

46,7 But we have agreed that the body cannot be the prison of the soul, 
since the body cooperates with either sort of behavior, right or wrong, but a 
prison prevents wrong behavior. (8) So as I say, one of two alternatives must 
be true. Either we sinned with a body from the first, and can find no time 
when we were without a body; and the body shares the responsibility for good 
and evil actions with the soul. Or else we sinned when we were without a 
body, and the body is not responsible for evil at all. (g) And yet the soul can- 
not be mastered by irrational pleasure without a body; but our first parents 
were mastered and snared by irrational pleasure. Thus even before its sin, 
the soul was accompanied by a body. 

46,10 As to the unthinkability of the body’s being made as a prison to 
punish the transgression, leaving the soul, as our opponents say, with the 
unmitigated, constant torture of carrying a corpse, I believe I have now given 
a full demonstration of this with every possible proof. (11) Thus it is untenable 
and unacceptable to make of the body a snare and chains, and say that God 
brings the souls into the snare as punishment, after casting them down from 
the third heaven for their transgressions of his commandment. 

46,12 For what could one be thinking of to believe the things they have 
so rashly said? And this although, despite their forced interpretation of it, 
the psalm does not have this meaning. I shall quote its actual words to show 

140 Ps 65:11. 



what fiction their exposition is, since they have no desire to understand the 
scriptures correctly. 

46,13 The psalm goes something like this: “Thou hast proved us, 0 God, 
thou hast tried us like as silver is tried Thou broughtest us into the snare, 
and laidest tribulations upon our back. Thou sujferedst men to ride over 
our heads. We went through fire and water, and thou broughtest us out to 
refreshment .” 141 (14) And they add at once, “This is said by souls which have 
been cast down from the third heaven, where Paradise is, into the snare of 
the body as into a contest.” For they say that "We went through fire and 
water” may mean either the soul’s passage from the womb into the world, 
since it has its dwelling in the midst of much fire and moisture — or else it 
may mean the soul’s fall from the heavens into the world, when < it > passes 
into the world through the fire, and the waters above the firmament. 

46,15 I have decided to stand up to these people. Now then, Aglaophon, 
answer for them yourself [and tell us] what they will say. (47,1) For in the 
first place, Paradise, from which, in the person of our first ancestor, we 
were expelled, is obviously a particular place on this earth, set apart for the 
untroubled rest and residence of the saints. < This > is plain from the fact 
that the Tigris and Euphrates, and the other rivers that issue from it, can be 
seen here inundating our land with their flooding. (2) They do not pour down 
in a cataract from the sky; the earth could not even sustain such a weight of 
water pouring down all at once from on high. 

47,3 Nor, to those who can recognize the nuances of words, is the apos- 
tle suggesting that Paradise is in a third heaven. He says, “I know < such a 
man > caught up to the third heaven; and I know such a man, ( whether in the 
body or out of the body, God knoweth), that he was rapt away to Paradise. ” 142 
(4) He is declaring that he has seen two great revelations and been taken up 
visibly twice, once to the third heaven and once to Paradise. “I know such a 
man caught up to the third heaven” is proof that a particular revelation was 
shown him in the third heaven, when he was caught up. (5) And the next 
sentence, “And I know such a man, ( whether in the body, or out of the body), 
< rapt away > to Paradise,” proves that one more revelation was shown him 
in Paradise. 

47,6 It is jabber and rant, then, to speak of the souls’ being cast down from 
the heavens, passing through the sources of fire and the waters above the 
firmament, and falling into this world. (7) Besides, Adam was not expelled 

141 Ps 65:10-12. 

142 2 Cor 12:2-4. 



from the heavens, but from the Paradise planted in the east, in Eden. For his 
transgression did not precede his embodiment, as I have shown sufficiently 
already, and this body is not a snare. The transgression came after the soul’s 
union with the body, for man is a composite of the two; and the fall from 
Paradise took place here. (8) But he (Origen?) did not examine the passage 
with any care at all, Aglaophon. He employed his skill in things which are 
not without risk, and set out to interpret the psalm in accordance with the 
opinions of low people, of whom I forbear to say more. 

48,1 But now that I have come to the point of correcting their depravity, 
I should also like to explain to them the reason for this prophecy, “Thou 
hast proved us, 0 God. Thou hast tried us with fire as silver is tried ,” 143 (2) 
The martyrs, during their trials, were amply tested by the assaults of their 
tortures— for the most part, the prophecies are fulfilled in our faith. They 
thank God that they have fought the battle out honorably and with great 
courage, and say to him, “Thou hast proved us, 0 God. Thou hast tried us 
with fire as silver is tried," as though God, bent on victory in the true Olym- 
pics, tested them with many sufferings, enabling them to win greater glory 
in his eyes. 

48,3 And see how Solomon calls out in praise of martyrs, in plain agree- 
ment with these words — -for the line does not go uncorroborated by the 
testimony of other scriptures. “God proved them and found them worthy of 
himself. As gold in the furnace he tried them and received them as an whole 
burnt offering of sweet savor. And in the time of their visitation < they shall 
shine >." (4) And before that he had said, “And though they are punished in 
the sight of men, their hope is full of immortality. And being a little chastened 
they shall be greatly rewarded .” 144 

48.5 Moreover, in the hundred and twenty-third Psalm it is the martyrs 
who sing “If the Lord had not been in our midst when men rose up against 
us, they had swallowed us up alive. The water had drowned us, our soul had 
passed through a torrent, our soul had passed through bottomless water. 
Blessed be the Lord, who hath not given us for a prey unto their teeth. Our 
soul was delivered as a sparrow from the snare of the fowlers. The snare is 
broken and we are delivered .” 145 

48.6 There are two choirs of victorious martyrs, one of the New Testament 
and the other of the Old, who with one accord sing their antiphonal hymn to 

143 Ps 65:10-11. 

144 Wisd Sol 3:4-7. 

145 Ps 123:2-7. 



God, their champion and the King of ail: “Thou hast proved us, 0 God, thou 
hast tried us with fire as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the snare, 
thou laidest crushing burdens upon our backs .” 146 Those [burdens] were the 
tribunal of the heathen, or the tortures in which they were hard pressed by 
crushing and burning. (7) For scripture says, “Test me, 0 Lord, and prove 
me, try my reins and my heart. ” 147 

48,8 Well might Abraham say, “Thou hast proved us, 0 Lord; thou hast 
tried us by fire as silver is tried, ” 148 after hearing “Abraham, spare thy son, ” 149 
and throwing his sword away, (g) His heart had ached for his only son, 
though he honored God’s command above < his child >. After Job’s flesh had 
run with filth and his friends had reproached him, and after his body was in 
pain, well might Job say, “Thou hast set tribulations before us, 0 Lord, that 
thou mayest try us as gold in the furnace ,” 150 on hearing God ask him from 
the whirlwind, “Or thinkest thou that I have dealt with thee otherwise than 
that thou mightest be found righteous ?” 151 (10) And well might the three 
children in the furnace, sprinkled with dew to prevent their consumption by 
the fire, say, “Thou hast proved us, 0 God, thou hast tried us with fire as the 
silver is tried. We went through fire and water, and thou broughtest us out 
to a place of refreshment .’’ 152 

48,11 Grant, 0 almighty God, the great, the eternal, the Father of Christ, 
that in thy day I too, Methodius, may pass unharmed through the fire and 
the waters turned to fuel escape their onslaughts, and say, “I went through 
fire and water, and thou broughtest me out to refreshment.” (12) For thy 
promise to those who love thee is, “If thou passest through the water I am 
with thee, and the rivers shall not overwhelm thee. If thou passest through 
the fire thou shalt not be burned; flame shall not scorch thee .” 155 But so 
much for the exposition of the psalm. 

49,1 But further, we must examine the argument in which, like sleepers 
dreaming many impostures, they declare that Paul said, “I was alive without 
the Law once, ” 154 and loudly insist < that > by his life “before the command- 
ment" he meant his life in the first man < in Paradise >, before the body. And 

146 Ps 65:10-11. 

147 Ps 25:2. 

148 Ps 65:10. 

149 Cf. Gen 22:11-12. 

150 Cf. Ps 65:10. 

151 Job 40:3. 

152 Ps 65:12. 

153 Isa 43:2. 

154 Rom 7:9. 



the words he adds, “But lam fleshly, sold under sin ,” 155 confirm this. (2) For 
the man could not have been ruled and mastered by evil, and sold to it for 
his transgression, if he had not become fleshly; in itself, the soul is immune 
to sin. And thus, after first saying “I was alive without the Law once,” Paul 
acutely added, “But I am fleshly, sold under sin.” 

49,3 Awe and consternation overcame the masses when they said these 
things, but now that the truth has come to light it is plain, not only that 
they have gone far wrong, but that they have ascended even to the height 
of blasphemy. (4) By granting that the souls had lived without bodies before 
the commandment, and supposing them completely immune to sin in them- 
selves, they have once more demolished their own argument — or, far more, 
their own selves. For they make it out that the bodies < were given > to the 
souls later, as a punishment, because they had sinned before they had 
bodies. And indeed they have been moved to abuse, and compare the body 
with a prison and chains, and < set about* > saying other silly things. 

49,5 In fact, as has been said, the precise opposite is true; before the sin 
the soul must have a body. For if the soul in itself were immune to sin, it 
would not sin at all before it had a body. (6) But if it sinned, it cannot in 
itself be immune to sin, but must even be susceptible and prone to it. And 
therefore — again — it will sin even without getting the body, just as it sinned 
before it got one. 

49,7 But why did it get a body at all later on, after it had sinned? Why 
did it need a body? If it was for torture and pain, why does it revel with the 
body instead, and behave licentiously? (8) And why does it plainly even have 
the freedom to make choices in this world? For here it is in our power to 
believe and not to believe, to do right and to sin, to do good and to do evil. 

49,9 Moreover, how can the judgment still be on its way, in which God 
rewards everyone according to his works and behavior? Why not suppose 
that it is here already, if the soul’s birth and entrance into a body is its judg- 
ment and retribution, whereas its death and separation from the body is its 
liberation and refection? For in your view it was put into a body as judgment 
and condemnation, for sinning before it had a body. (10) But my argument 
has more than amply shown that it is inadmissible to regard the body as the 
soul’s torture chamber and chain. 

50,1 To end our discussion of this here, one would need only to show from 
the scripture itself that, < even > before his transgression, the first man was 
composed of body and soul I too shall go over the heads of this now, trying 

155 Rom 7:14. 



< onfy*> to correct the bases of their arguments, and thus not exceed the 
Length suitable for speeches. 

50,2 For you can see at once, gentlemen of the jury, that as the words 
which follow it indicate, the verse from Romans, “I was alive once without the 
Law ,” 156 cannot apply to the life they claim the soul had before the body — 
even though, because he suffers from a completely incurable childhood ail- 
ment, this good physician of the texts forcibly changed the sense as he saw 
fit by removing the next lines. ( 3 ) For instead of keeping bodies’ limbs next 
to their natural junctures and joints, and leaving the appearance of the body 
just right, as nature intended, he mutilated it, like a Scythian mercilessly 
hacking an enemy’s limbs off for his destruction, by ignoring the order of 

50,4 “All right, ” they will say, “if you have proved that this is not what they 
mean, why did the apostle make these declarations?” 

“Because he regarded the ‘commandment’ as ‘law,’” I would reply. "(Let us 
grant first that, as you suppose, he called the commandment an actual ‘law. j 
But Paul did not suppose because of this that, before the commandment, our 
first parents also lived without bodies; he supposed that they lived without 
sin. ( 5 ) Indeed the time between their creation and the commandment, dur- 
ing which they lived without sin, was short — [this time during which ] they 
Lived, not without bodies but with bodies. Thus they were expelled directly 
after the commandment, after a very brief youth in Paradise. ” 

50,6 But suppose that someone seizes on the line which says, “When we 
were in the flesh, the motions of sins which were by the Law did work in our 
members, ” believes that Paul is accusing and repudiating the flesh; and sup- 
pose that he brings up all the other things of this kind that Paul said, ( 7 ) such 
as, “that the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, which walk not 
after the flesh but after the Spirit. ” 157 Or, “For they that are after the flesh do 
mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit, the things of 
the Spirit. For to be fleshly minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is 
life and peace. Because the fleshly mind is enmity against God, for it is not 
subject to the law of God, neither again can it be. < So then they that are in 
the flesh cannot please God >. But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit .” 156 
( 8 ) We should ask him whether the apostle, and the persons to whom he wrote 

156 Rom 7:9. 

157 Rom 8:4. 

158 Rom 8:5-9. 



this, had already departed this life, if he was here decrying, not life lived in 
fleshly terms, but the flesh itself — or whether he was still in the flesh. 

50,9 But it cannot be said that he sent this when he was not in the flesh. 
Both he and the addressees were plainly in the flesh. But in that case how 
can he say, “When we were in the flesh the motions of the sins that were by 
the Law did work in our members,” as though neither he himself, nor the 
addressees, were still in the flesh? (10) He is speaking not of the flesh itself but 
of a dissolute life. It is his habit to call a person who lives such a life “fleshly," 
just as he calls one who is hardened to the beholding of the truth and the 
light of the mystery, “soulish.” 

50,11 For [on their premises ] they should say that neither can the soul 
ever be saved! Scripture says, “The soulish man receiveth not the things of 
the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him. But he that is spiritual 
judgeth all things .” 159 (12) < Thus > in that case a soulish and a spiritual 
man are introduced, and the spiritual < is adjudged * > as saved while the 
soulish < is adjudged* > as lost, but this does not mean that the soul perishes 
and everything besides the soul is saved. So here, (I.e., at Rom. 5:8-9) when 
Paul says that the fleshly, and those who are in the flesh, must perish and 
cannot please God, he is not striving for the destruction of the flesh, but the 
destruction of the fleshly mode of life. 

50,13 And further on, when he says, “They that are in the flesh cannot 
please God,” he adds at once, “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if 
so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. " I60 (14) And shortly after that, 
“But because the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in 
you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal 
bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, 
not to the flesh to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die; 
but if ye, through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. ” 161 
As we must note, he maintained that the body’s appetite for pleasures is put 
to death, and not the body itself. 

51,1 But if they argue, “Then why is it said that ‘The mind of the flesh is 
enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can 
it be ?’” 162 we must reply that here too they are mistaken. (2) Paul was not 
suggesting that the flesh itself cannot be subject to the law of God, but that 
the “mind” of the flesh cannot be, and this is different from the flesh. 

159 1 Cor 2:14-15. 

160 Rom 8:8-9. 

161 Rom 8:11-13. 

162 Rom 8:7. 



51,3 It is as though he were to say, “The impurity in poorly refined silver 
is not subject to the craftsman for manufacture as a household vessel. It can- 
not be; it must be removed from the silver first, and melted out.” (4) And he 
was not claiming because of this that the silver cannot be wrought into a 
serviceable vessel, but that the copper in the silver, and its other impurities, 
cannot be. (5) Thus when he spoke of the “mind of the flesh, ” he did not mean 
that the flesh cannot be subject to the law of God, but that the “mind” that is 
in the flesh cannot be — its impulse to incontinence, for example. Elsewhere 
he sometimes called this the “old leaven of malice and wickedness, " 163 and 
urged that it be entirely removed from us. But sometimes he called it the “law 
which warreth against the law of my mind and bringeth it into captivity. ” 164 

51.6 For in the first place, if he meant that the flesh itself cannot be sub- 
ject to the law of God, no just judge could blame us for licentious behavior, 
banditry, and all the other deeds we perform or do with the body — there is 
no other way of refraining from sin — then it is not true that the body cannot 
be subject to the law of God! How could the body be blamed for living up to 
its own nature? 

51.7 But besides, neither could the body be brought to purity or virtue, if it 
were not in its nature to be subject to the good. For if the nature of the flesh is 
such that it cannot be subject to the law of God, but righteousness is the law 
of God, and prudence, then no one at all could ever be a virgin or continent. 
( 8 ) But if there are virgins and continent persons, but continence is achieved 
by the subjection of the body — there is no other way of refraining from sin — 
then it is not true that the body cannot be subject to the law of God. (g) How 
did John subject his body to purity? Or Peter to sanctity? And why does Paul 
say, “Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it 
in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrigh- 
teousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from 
the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God "? 165 
And again, “For as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness 
and to iniquity, unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to 
righteousness unto holiness. ” 166 

52,1 Thus he knew that this tabernacle can be put to rights and assent to 
the good, so that the sins in it can be put to death. (2) Even with us, how can 
a man be the servant of righteousness if he does not first subject his fleshly 

163 1 Cor 7:8. 

164 Rom 7:23. 

165 Rom 6:12-13. 

166 Rom 6:19. 



members so that they will obey not sin but righteousness, and Live worthily of 
Christ? Sinning and refraining from sin are accomplished through the body, 
and the soul employs it either as an instrument of virtue or an instrument 
of wickedness. 

52,3 For if “Neither fornicators, not idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effem- 
inate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, 
nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners can inherit the kingdom of 
God” 167 — (4) and if these things are accomplished by the body and derive 
their strength from the body, and no one is justified without overcoming 
them first — and if the one who overcomes them is the one who inclines to 
prudence and faith — then the body is subject to the law of God. For prudence 
is the law of God. 

52,5 Thus the apostle did not say that the flesh is not subject to the good 
but that the mind of the flesh is not, removing, as it were, the flesh’s desire 
for immoderations, just as he removed the soul’s desire for evil (6) In his ear- 
nest effort to purge even the intemperance of gluttony, teaching us that such 
desires and pleasures must be utterly eliminated, (7) and shaming those who 
believe that luxury and feasting are life — persons “who regard their belly as 
God ,’’ 168 who < say >, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die ,” 169 and 
who spend their time like greedy cattle on nothing but feeding and dining-he 
said, “Meats for the belly and the belly for meats: but God will destroy both 
it and them. ” 170 And then he added, “Now the body is not for fornication, 
but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the 
Lord, and will raise up us by his power. What? Know ye not that your bodies 
are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make 
them the members of an harlot? God forbid! What? Know ye not that that 
which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. 
But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that 
a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth 
against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the 
Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 
For ye were bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body .” 171 

53,1 Note that the apostle made these statements because the body can 
< be subject > to the law of God, and can be immortal if it is kept free of 

167 1 Cor 6:9. 

168 Phil 3:19. 

169 1 Cor 15:32. 

170 1 Cor 6:13. 

171 1 Cor 6:13-20. 



the fuel of intemperance, and never soiled by forbidden stimulations of the 
passions. (2) For what else is “joined to an harlot ," 172 has relations with her, 
becomes one flesh by the junction and union of their members, but this exter- 
nal body with which all the sins of sex and passion are committed? (3) This 
is why Paul said, “Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he 
that commltteth fornication sinneth against his own body .” 173 (4) Vanity, 
unbelief anger and hypocrisy are sins of the soul, but fornication, passion 
and luxury are sins of the body. With these the soul can neither take refuge 
in the truth nor the body be subject to the teachings of prudence; both will 
slip away from the kingdom of Christ. 

53,5 And therefore if our bodies, when kept holy, are the “temple of 
the Spirit that dwelleth in us " 174 and “The Lord is in the body, ” 175 and the 
members of the body are the members of Christ, the body is subject to the 
divine law and “can inherit the kingdom of God .” 176 (6) For “He that raised 
up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit 
that dwelleth in you ," 177 so that “This mortal shall put on immortality and 
this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and death will be swallowed up in 
victory .” 178 (7) For the apostle was not discussing some other body here on 
earth, but this body which dies and is put to death, and with which fornica- 
tion and other sins can be committed. 

54,1 But what if they surmise that there is a difference between “body" 
and “flesh" — to allow them this argument as well — and suppose that “body" 
is something different and invisible, < the property > of the soul, as it were, 
but “flesh” is this external, visible body? We must reply that it is not only Paul 
and the prophets who understand this flesh as “body.” Others do as well, 
< pagan > philosophers, who are the most particular about the accuracy of 
terms. (2) If our opponents will also make a scientific investigation of this, 
“flesh" is the right word — certainly not for the whole mass of our tabernacle, 
but for some part of the whole, like the bones, sinews and veins. The whole, 
though, is “body." And physicians, who deal with precision with the nature of 
bodies, understand “body" to mean this visible body. 

172 1 Cor 6:16. 

173 1 Cor 6:18. 

174 1 Cor 6:19. 

175 Cf. 1 Cor 6:13. 

176 1 Cor 6:15. 

177 Rom 8:11. 

178 1 Cor 15:53-54- 



54.3 Plato too, moreover, understands “body” to mean this actual < body >. 
Thus Socrates said in the Phaedo, “Do we suppose that death is anything 
other than < the > soul’s departure from the body? And when the body has 
begun to exist separately by itself, apart from the soul, and the soul apart 
from the body, this is death. ” 179 

54.4 Did not the blessed Moses — we come now to the Lord’s scriptures — 
understand “body” to mean the body we see, and say in the purifications 
that whoever touches something unclean “shall wash his clothes and bathe 
his body in water, and be unclean until even ?” 180 (5) And what about Job? 
Did he too not understand “body" to mean this thing that dies, when he said, 
“My body is sullied with the rottenness of worms ?” 181 (6) Solomon too said, 
“Wisdom will not enter into a soul that deviseth evil, nor make its abode in a 
body guilty of sin. ” 182 And in Daniel it is said of the martyrs, “The fire had no 
power upon their bodies, nor was an hair of their head singed .” 188 

54,7 The Lord said too, in the Gospel, “Therefore I say unto you, Take no 
thought what ye shall eat or what ye shall put on. Is not the soul more than 
meat, and the body than raiment ?” 184 (8) And the apostle proves that he 
understands “body” to mean this body of ours when he says, “Let not sin 
therefore reign in your mortal body .” 188 And again, “If the Spirit of him that 
raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the 
dead shall quicken your mortal bodies .” 186 (9) And again, “If the foot shall 
say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body, is it therefore not of 
the body ? 181 And again, “And being not weak in faith, Abraham considered 
not his own body now dead. ” 188 And again, “For we must all appear before 
the judgment seat of Christ: that everyone may receive the things done in 
his body according to that he hath done .” 180 (10) And again, “His letters are 
weighty and powerful; but the presence of his body is weak. ” 190 And again, 
“I knew a man in Christ fourteen years ago, whether in the body, I cannot 

179 Plato Phaedo 64C. 

180 Lev 14:9; 47. 

181 Job 7:5. 

182 Wisd Sol. 1:4. 

183 Dan 3:94. 

184 Matt 6:25. 

185 Rom 6:12. 

186 Rom 8:11. 

187 1 Cor 12:15. 

188 Rom 4:19. 

189 2 Cor 5:10. 

190 2 Cor 10:10. 



teii, or whether out of the body, I cannot tell. " I91 And again, So men ought 
to love their wives as their own bodies. ” 192 And again, “And the very God of 
peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and 
body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. " 193 
54,11 But our opponents have surely realized none of this. They supposed 
the apostle adrift on a stormy sea, as though his thoughts had no harbor 
and anchorage, but sailed back and forth making contradictory statements, 
sometimes that the flesh rises, but sometimes that it does not. 

55,1 And so, to omit none of their propositions and hew < the> hydra all 
to pieces, I shall return to the subject. For next, as I promised, I shall put the 
other questions that they raise and show how to answer them, and prove that 
our opponent has said things that are themselves in accord and agreement 
with our faith in the resurrection of the flesh. (2) Let us see, then, what we 
were led at the outset to say of the apostle. As we originally suggested, his 
words, “I was alive without the Law once, ” 194 mean our former life in Para- 
dise in our first parents — not without a body but with a body — before the 
commandment. (3) For “God took the dust of the earth and fashioned the 
man ” 195 before the giving of the commandment. We lived free from lust and 
knew no onslaughts of the senseless desire which, with the enticing distrac- 
tions of pleasures, impels us to intemperance. (4) For if one has no rule to 
live by, and no control over his own reason, what life can he choose to live, to 
merit just praise or blame? He must be pronounced immune to all charges, 
since one cannot covet things that are not forbidden. (5) And even if he does 
covet them, he will not be charged. “Covet” does not apply to things which are 
accessible and at one’s command, but to accessible things which are not in 
one’s power. How can one desire and itch for a thing which is not withheld 
from him, and which he does not need? Thus < Paul said >, “I had not known 
lust if the Law had not said, Thou shalt not covet. ” 196 

55,6 But when our first parents had been told, “Of the tree of the knowl- 
edge of good and evilye shall not eat, and on the day ye eat thereof, ye shall 
surely die ,” 191 they conceived desire and were infected with it. For one who 
“desires” does not desire the things that he has, controls and uses, but the 

191 2 Cor 12:2. 

192 Eph 5:28. 

193 1 Thes 5:23. 

194 Rom 7:9. 

195 Gen 2:7. 

196 Rom 7:8. 

197 Gen 2:17. 



things which are forbidden and barred to him, and which he does not have. 
( 7 ) Thus Paul was right to say, “I had not known lust if the Law had not said, 
Thou shalt not covet” — that is, if “Ye shall not eat thereof,” had not been said. 
This is the way in which sin gained the opportunity and occasion for its entry, 
to mock me and pervert me. 

56,1 For once the commandment had been given, the devil got his oppor- 
tunity to produce covetousness in me through the commandment, and cun- 
ningly urged and provoked me to descend to the desire for the forbidden. 
( 2 ) “For without a law sin is dead” 198 — that is, there was no way of com- 
mitting sin when the commandment had not been given and was not yet in 
existence. “I was” blamelessly “alive ” 199 before the commandment, because 
I had no rule and ordinance to live by, from which it would be sinful for 
me to fall away. ( 3 ) “But when the commandment came, sin revived and I 
died. And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto 
death, ” 200 because once God had given a law and specified what should and 
should not be done, the devil produced covetousness in me. ( 4 ) For though 
God’s counsel and the commandment he gave me were meant for life and 
immortality, so that, if I obeyed the commandment and lived by it, I would 
have an untroubled life of the highest eternal beatitude, flourishing forever 
in immortality and joy, its result, because I transgressed it, was my death 
and condemnation. ( 5 ) For the devil — whom the apostle called “sin” in this 
instance because he is the artificer and originator of sin — took occasion 
from the commandment, deceived me into disobedience, and after deceiving 
me, killed me by bringing me under the sentence of, “In the day that ye eat 
thereof ye shall surely die .” 201 

56,6 “Wherefore the law is holy, and God’s commandment holy, and just, 
and good ,” 202 because it was given, not to harm but to save. Let us not for 
a moment suppose that God does anything useless or harmful! ( 7 ) What, 
then? “Was that which was good” — the commandment I was given to be the 
cause of my greatest good — “made death unto me? God forbid !” 208 God’s 
commandment was not the cause of my enslavement to corruption and the 
writing of the tablets of destruction. It was the devil, to make it clear that he 
had made evil ready for me by means of something good, so that the inven- 

198 Rom 7:9. 

199 Rom 7:9. 

200 Rom 7:10. 

201 Gen 2:17. 

202 Rom 7:12. 

203 Rom 7:13. 



tor and architect of sin would become “exceeding sinful ” 204 and be exposed 
as such, and the < wicked > overseer of the opposite of God’s commandment 
would be distinguished from the good. 

56,8 “For we know that the law is spiritual, ” 205 and can thus be the cause 
of harm to no one; spiritual things have their dwellings far from senseless lust 
and sin. (9) “But I am fleshly, sold under sin .” 206 That is, since I am fleshly 
and placed as a free agent between good and evil, so that it is in my power to 
do what I will— for scripture says, “I have set before thee life and death 207 — 
then, if I have consented to disobey the spiritual law, or commandment, but 
to obey the material law, or the counsel of the serpent, because of this choice 
I have fallen under sin and am sold to the devil 

56,10 And therefore, after laying siege to me, the evil settles, makes its 
home and lives in my flesh, like a drone in a beehive which often hovers buzz- 
ing around it. For because I broke the commandment, the punishment of 
being sold to evil was laid on me. (11) And thus, when I think of things I want 
not to do, “I allow notwhatl do.” For “I know not what I do” and “What I hate, 
that do /” 208 are not to be taken of actually doing evil, but of merely thinking 
of it. For unseemly thoughts often catch us off guard and cause us to imagine 
things we want not to, since the soul is very much perplexed by thoughts. 

57,1 For to desire wicked things or not desire them is not entirely our 
choice, but we can choose whether or not to implement the desires. We can- 
not prevent the thoughts from occurring to us, since they are insinuated into 
us from without to test us; but we can refrain from obeying them or putting 
them into practice. (2) How did the apostle do the evil he disliked the most, 
and least of all do the good he liked — unless he was speaking of the pecu- 
liar thoughts which, for some unknown reason, we sometimes entertain even 
without intending to? (3) These must be repelled and silenced, or they will 
spread and possess the farthest bounds of our souls. For while these Unger in 
us, the good cannot show itself. 

57,4 The apostle was right, then, to say, “That which I do, I allow not; for 
what I would, that do I not, but what I hate, that do I. ” 209 We want not even 
to think of things that are unseemly and infamous, for perfect good is not 
merely refraining from doing such things, but even from thinking of them. 

204 Rom 7:13. 

205 Rom 7:14. 

206 Rom 7:15. 

207 Deut 30:15. 

208 Rom 7:15. 

209 Rom 7:15; 19. 



(5) And yet this good which we want does not come to fruition; the evil which 
we do not want, does. Countless < thoughts > on countless subjects haunt our 
hearts and often enter them even against our will, filling us with curiosity 
and senseless meddlesomeness. (6) And thus we are capable of wanting not 
to entertain these thoughts, but < not > of banishing them, never to return to 
our minds. For as I said, we do not have the power to do this, but only the 
power to comply with the thoughts or not. 

57.7 Thus the sense of the line, “For the good that I would, I do not ,” 210 is 
something like this: “I want not to think of what is harmful to me, since [not 
to do so] is irreproachable good, “built foursquare without blemish by hands 
and heart ,”’ 211 as the saying goes. And “The good that I will, Ido not: but the 
evil that I would not, that do I” means, “I do not want to conceive of them, yet 
I conceive of the things I want not to. ” 

57.8 And < it is worth > asking whether it was for this very reason that 
David besought God — his own disgust at thinking thoughts he did not choose 
to — [and said], "Cleanse thou me from my secret thoughts, and spare thy 
servant strange thoughts. If they get not the dominion over me, then shall 
I be innocent and cleansed of the great sin .’’ 212 (9) And the apostle himself 
says elsewhere, “Casting down thoughts, and every high thing that exalteth 
itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captiv- 
ity to the obedience of God. ” 213 

58,1 But suppose someone still ventures to speak up and reply that the 
apostle is teaching that we do the evil we hate and do not want to do, not 
only by thinking but also by actually doing it — (2) since Paul has said, “The 
good that I would I ‘do’ not: but the evil which I would not, that ‘do’ I.” I shall 
require the one who says this to explain, if he is telling the truth, what the evil 
was that the apostle hated and wanted not to do, but still did — and < what > 
the good was that he wanted to do but did not do, but on the contrary, as 
often as he wanted to do this good, he did not do the good he wanted, but 
the evil he did not want. (3) When Paul wanted not to worship idols but to 
worship God, was he unable to worship God as he wanted to, but able to wor- 
ship idols as he wanted not to? Or did he not live the sober life he wanted, 
but a licentious life that was vexatious to him? (4) And in a word, did he 
drink too much, squander his money, grow angry, do injury, and all the rest 

210 Rom 7:19. 

211 Plato Protaeoras aaqB. 

212 Ps 18:13-14. 

213 2 Cor 10:5. 



of the evil he wanted not to, but not practice righteousness and holiness as 
he wanted to? 

58,5 Indeed when, in his effort to see righteousness practiced among us 
with no admixture of evil, he urgently exhorts all the members of the churches 
not to transgress, he orders not only that active wrongdoers be reserved for 
destruction and wrath, but their sympathizers as welL (6) In his Epistles he 
often plainly teaches us to turn our backs on these very things and hate them, 
and says, “Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor effeminate, 
nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor drunkards, nor 
covetous, nor revilers, nor extortioners shall inherit the kingdom of God .” 214 
(7) And as his last word, to urge us to shun and reject all sin completely, he 
plainly says, “Be ye imitators of me, as I am of Christ ," 215 

58,8 Thus the lines we have quoted suggest, not Paul’s actual doing of the 
things he wanted not to, but his mere thinking of them. Otherwise, how could 
he be an exact imitator of Christ? Since savage thoughts often occur to us, 
however, filling us time after time with desires and senseless curiosity “like 
many swarms of buzzing flies, ” 216 Paul said, “What I would not, that do I. ” 217 
One must frighten these things away from the soul with a good courage, and 
not even incline to the carrying out of their suggestions. 

58, g For this troubling of our minds with many thoughts is meant to 
ensure our admission to the kingdom of heaven after being tested with all 
sorts of pleasures and pains — provided that we do not change, but like pure 
gold tried by fire, never depart from the virtue that becomes us. (10) We must 
therefore resist heroically, like shock troops who pay no heed to their arrows 
and other missiles when they see themselves under siege by enemies, but who 
eagerly charge them, with zeal unflagging in the defense of their city, till 
they put their band to flight and drive it beyond their borders. (11) For you 
see how, because of our indwelling sin, these thoughts from without band 
together against us like mad dogs or fierce, savage bandits, always urged on 
by the despot and chief of wickedness, who is testing our ability to withstand 
and resist them. 

5g,i To work, my soul, or you will yield and be made prisoner, and I will 
have nothing to give in exchange for you! For ‘What shall a man give in 
exchange for his soul ?" 218 (2) It would be a good thing — indeed, a most 

214 1 Cor 6:9-10. 

215 1 Cor 11:1. 

216 Iliad 2.469. 

217 Rom 7:19. 

218 Matt 16:28. 



happy thing — if we did not have our adversaries and opponents. But as this 
cannot be — it would amount to salvation without effort — and we cannot 
have what we want, for we want not to have allurements to passion; and 
what we want does not materialize, but what we do not want does, since, 
as I said, we need to be tested; let us never, never yield to the evil one, my 
soul! ( 3 ) Let us “take the whole armor of God” to protect and fight for us, 
and “Let us put on the breastplate of righteousness, have our feet shod with 
the readiness of the Gospel of peace, and above all take the shield of faith, 
wherewith we shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the evil one, and 
the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 
that we may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil ” 219 and “cast down 
thoughts and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of 
God ;” 220 “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood .” 221 

59,4 I say this because this is the character of the apostle’s writings. There 
is a great deal to say in proof of the orthodoxy and circumspection even 
of every line in this Epistle; but to go over each one from this standpoint 
would take too long. Here I prefer to show simply his character and purpose 
( 5 ) when he says, rightly, “What I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that 
do I. <If then I do that which I would not >, I consent unto the law of God 
that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 
For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, the good dwelleth not .” 222 ( 6 ) For 
you remember the limits we set for ourselves earlier. Even though I am going 
slowly despite my effort to run through everything quickly, although my dis- 
course is more prolix than I had expected it would certainly be desirable to 
finish it. Besides, we have not yet reached the end of the subject. 

60,1 Very well, we were saying, if you will recall, that from the moment 
when the man erred and broke the commandment, sin had its beginning 
because of his disobedience, and made its abode in him. ( 2 ) Thus a clash 
of impulses first fell upon us, and we were filled with unseemly thoughts. 
Because we had taken a shortcut past God’s commandment we were emp- 
tied of God’s inspiration, but filled with the material desire which the coiling 
serpent breathed into us. ( 3 ) And so, for our sakes, God devised death for 
the destruction of sin, to keep it from being immortal, as I said, since it had 
appeared in us while we were immortal. 

219 Eph 6:13-17. 

220 2 Cor 10:4-5. 

221 Eph 6:12. 

222 Rom 7:15-18. 



60.4 Thus in saying “I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, the good 
dwelleth not ,” 223 the apostle means the sin that, since the transgression, has 
made itself at home in us through desire, the pleasure-loving thoughts of 
which keep springing up around us like new shoots and twigs. ( 5 ) For there 
are two kinds of thoughts in us. The one kind arises from the desire which 
lurks in the body, and has been caused, as I said, by the inspiration of the 
material spirit. The other has come from our regard for the commandment, 
which we have been given to have as an innate natural law, and which urges 
and restores our thoughts to the good. ( 6 ) Hence we “ delight ” 224 in the law of 
God in our minds — this is what the “inner man” means — but with the desire 
that dwells in the flesh we delight in the devil’s law. For the law which “war- 
reth against and opposeth the law of God” 223 — that is, opposes our mind’s 
desire, our impulse to the good — is the law which is forever fostering lustful, 
material turns to lawlessness, and is altogether a temptation to pleasures. 

61.1 For it seems plain to me that Paul here assumes the existence of three 
laws. One corresponds to the innate good in us, and he plainly called this the 
“law of the mind." One arises from the assault of the evil and often draws the 
soul to sensual imaginings; Paul said that this “law” is at war with the “law 
of the mind.” ( 2 ) Another is the law which corresponds to the sin that has 
become habitual in the flesh because of its lust; this, Paul called the “law of 
sin which dwells in the members." Mounted on this as his steed, the evil one 
often spurs it against us, driving us to wickedness and evil deeds. ( 3 ) For the 
law which is breathed into us from without by the evil one and which, through 
the senses, pours into the soul itself like a stream of pitch, is strengthened by 
the law in the flesh which corresponds with its lust. 

61.4 For it is plain that the better and the worse are within ourselves, and 
that, when that which is by nature better becomes stronger than that which 
is worse, the mind as a whole is swayed to the good. But when the worse is 
larger and weighs us down — the thing which is said to be at war with the 
good in us — the man, again, is led to all sorts of imaginings and to the worse 
sort of thoughts. 

62.1 Because of this very law the apostle prays for rescue; like the prophet 
who said, “Cleanse thou me from my secret sins ,” 226 he regards it as death 
and destruction. ( 2 ) His words themselves prove as much; he says, “I delight 
in the law of God after mine inner man, but I see another law in my members, 

223 Rom 7:18. 

224 Rom 7:22. 

225 Cf. Rom 7:23. 

226 Ps 18:13. 



warring against the Law of my mind and bringing me into captivity to the Law 
of sin, which is in my members. 0 wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver 
me from this body of death ?” 221 ( 3 ) Paul does not term the body “death,” but 
the law of sin in the members < of the body >, which lurks in us because of 
the transgression and is always inciting the soul’s imagination to the “death” 
of wickedness. 

62.4 At once, no doubt undone by the sort of death from which he was 
yearning for rescue, he also adds who his rescuer was: “I thank God through 
Jesus Christ.” 229, We must note, Aglaophon, that if, as you people have sup- 
posed, he meant that this body is death, he would not be inviting Christ to 
rescue him later from such an evil. What more peculiar, or even more than 
peculiar outcome could we have from Christ’s coming? 

62.5 And why ever did the apostle say that he could be freed from this 
“death” by God through the coming of Christ, when, in fact, death was every- 
one’s lot even before Christ entered the world? ( 6 ) For everyone was "rescued” 
from their bodies by being separated from them on their departure from this 
life. And all the souls likewise — of faithless and faithful, of unjust and just — 
were separated from their bodies on the day of their death. ( 7 ) What more 
than the others — who had lived in unbelief— was the apostle anxious to get? 
Or if he supposed that the body is the death of the soul, why did he pray for 
deliverance from the body, which he would surely get even against his will, 
just as death and the separation of their souls from their bodies is the lot of 

62,8 And so, Aglaophon, he does not mean that this body is death, but 
that the sin which lives < within > the body through lust is death — the sin 
from which God delivered him by the coming of Christ. ( 9 ) “For the law of 
the Spirit of life in Christ fesus hath made us free from the Law of sin and 
death, ” 229 so that “He that raised up Jesus from the dead may also quicken 
our mortal bodies because of his Spirit that dwelleth in us ," 230 ( 10 ) “with the 
sin in the body condemned” to destruction, “so that the requirement of the 
law ” 231 of nature, which attracts us to the good as the commandment directs, 
may be set alight and made visible. For before Christ’s coming when the flesh 
was controlled by sin, this smoldered feebly under a heap of material cares. 
( 11 ) For God gave new strength to “the impotence of the natural law within 

227 Rom 7:22-24. 

228 Rom 7:25. 

229 Rom 8:2. 

230 Rom 8:11. 

231 Rom 8:3-4. 



us, while it was feeble " 232 from its defeat by the lust in our bodies. For he 
sent his Son to take a flesh like our sinful flesh — that which appeared was 
real, not an illusion — (12) so that, with sin condemned to destruction so as 
to “bring forth” no more “fruit " 233 in the flesh, the requirement of the law of 
nature would be fulfilled. It would have grown, through obedience, in those 
who followed, not the desire of the flesh, but the desire and guidance of the 
Spirit. (13) For “the law of the Spirit of life,” which is the Gospel and is differ- 
ent from the other laws and meant to foster obedience and the forgiveness of 
sins through the proclamation of it, “hath set us free from the law of sin and 
death ," 234 and entirely conquered the sin which rules the flesh. 

62,14 I have said these things, Theophilus, to clarify the passages which 
they cite even from the words of the apostle, but do not expound correctly. 
But I shall turn to the rest, provided that I can find someone to help me 
through to the end of my discourse. For the material which follows this is 
abstruse, and by no means easy to master. (15) So I undertake the more dif- 
ficult part of it, though I can see that the demonstration will be long and 
hard unless a breeze of understanding suddenly blows on us from heaven as 
though we were being tossed in mid-sea, and restores us to a calm harbor 
and a more reliable proof. 

So far the excerpt from Methodius 

63,1 This is the < selection* > of consecutive passages < which I have 
made*> < from > Methodius’, or Eubulius’, < comments* > on Origen and 
the heresy which, with sophistical imposture, Origen puts forward in his 
treatise on resurrection. I believe that my quotation of these passages here 
will do for his silly teachings, and sufficiently refute his < destruction* > 
of men’s < hope* > for life with a malignancy which has been taken from 
pagan superstition and plastered over. (2) For many other things — surely 
even as many more — were also said in his followup of the subject by Meth- 
odius, a learned man and a hard fighter for the truth. (3) But since I have 
promised to say a few things in its refutation about every sect — there are 
not few of them! — I content myself with quoting Methodius’ work [only] 
this far. (4) And I, of my poverty, shall add a few more comments of my 
own on Origen’s nonsense and conclude the contest with him, award- 
ing the prize to God who gives us the victory and, in his lovingkindness, 

232 Cf. Rom 8:3. 

233 Cf. Rom 7:4. 

234 Rom 8:2. 



adorns his church at all times with the unfading wreaths of the teachings 
of the truth. So, as best I can, I too shall speak against him. 

63,5 As I have indicated earlier, Mister, you scornfully say, “Was God a 
tanner, to make skin tunics for Adam and Eve when no animals had yet 
been slaughtered? And even if animals had been slaughtered, < there was 
no tanner there. What the scripture meant, then, was* > not skin tunics, 
but the body of earth which surrounds us.” (6) And you are exposed in 
every respect as a follower of the devil’s < inspiration > and the guile of the 
serpent, who brought the corruption of unbelief on mankind, deceived 
Eve, and continues to corrupt the minds of simple people with the villainy 
< of his inspiration > 235 

63,7 Let’s see whether your arguments can stand, then, since you’ve 
worked so hard and carried the struggle of writing so many books out 
to such useless length. (8) For if the story of your composing 6000 books 
is true, 236 you energy-waster, then, after expending all that futile effort 
on lampoons and useless tricks and rendering your work valueless and 
empty, you made the toil of your trafficking profitless by being mistaken 
in the main points with which you counterfeited the resurrection. 

63.9 For if the body does not rise, the soul will have no inheritance 
either. The fellowship of the body and the soul is one and the same, and 
they have one work. But faithful men exhaust themselves in body and soul 
in their hope of the inheritance after resurrection — and you say there will 
not be one! Our faith is < of no value >, then; and there is no value in our 
hope, though it is in accordance with the apostolic and true promise of 
the Holy Spirit. 

63.10 But though you, on the contrary, confess a resurrection yourself, 
since what you have is an illusory appearance and nothing real, you are 
compelled to say nothing but the name. How can we speak of a soul’s “ris- 
ing,” when it doesn’t fall and isn’t buried? (11) It is plain from the name 
that the resurrection of the body, which has fallen and been buried, is 
proclaimed, everywhere and in every scripture, by the sons of the truth. 
But if the body doesn’t rise, the resurrection proclaimed by all the scrip- 
tures isn’t possible. (12) And if there is no resurrection, [any] expectation 
of the resurrection of the dead is useless. For there is no resurrection of 
souls, which have not fallen; but there is a resurrection of bodies, which 

235 Holl tv)s aiiTou E7n7rvoia;, MSS ev xai? auxuv Siavoia?. 

236 Origen’s admirer Rufinus attacked Epiphanius for stating publicly that Origen had 
written 6000 books, and that he, Epiphanius, had read them. Epiphanius denied the charge 
in a lost letter to Jerome. Cf. Jer. C. Rufin. 2.21-22; 3.23. 



have been buried. (13) And even if a portion of the body is raised while a 
portion is laid to rest, how can there be any such portion? There cannot 
be parts of the body which are raised, and parts which are laid to rest and 
left behind. 

63,14 < Anyone with a sound mind can see* > that, [just] because there 
is a spiritual body and an ensouled body, the spiritual body is not one 
thing and the ensouled body something else; the ensouled and the spiri- 
tual body are the same. (15) We have ensouled bodies while we are in the 
world and doing the corruptible deeds of the flesh; for in the world we 
are enslaved to the soul in its wicked deeds, as you too have said up to a 
point. (16) When we are raised, however, there is no more enslavement to 
the soul but there is a following of the Spirit, for from that time on they 
have the Earnest 237 as scripture says, “If we live by the Spirit, let us also 
walk by the Spirit; and if we walk by the Spirit, by mortifying the deeds 
of the body we shall live.” 238 (17) There will be no more marriages, no 
more lusts, no more struggles for those who profess continence. There 
will be no more of the transgressions which run counter to purity, and no 
more of the sorts of deeds that are done here; as the Lord says, “They that 
are accounted worthy of that resurrection neither marry nor are given in 
marriage, but are as the angels.” 239 

64.1 And thus Enoch was translated so as not to see death, and was 
not found. But at his translation he didn’t leave his body, or part of his 
body, behind. If he had left his body he would have seen death, but being 
translated with his body, he did not see death. For he is in a living body, 
and because of his translation his state is spiritual, not ensouled, though, 
to be sure, he is in a spiritual body. 

64.2 The same < has been said* > of Elijah, moreover, because he was 
taken up in a chariot of fire and is still in the flesh — but in a spiritual 
flesh which will never again need, < as > it did when it was in this world 
to be fed by ravens, drink from the brook of Kerith, and wear a fleece. 
It is fed by another, spiritual nourishment the supplier of which is God, 
who knows secrets and has created things unseen; and it has food which 
is immortal and pure. 

64.3 And you see that the ensouled body is the same as the spiritual 
body, just as our Lord arose from the dead, not by raising a different body, 

237 Cf. 2 Cor 5:5. 

238 Cf. Gal 5:25; Rom 8:13. 

239 Cf. Luke 20:35. 



but his own body and not different from his own. But he had changed his 
own actual body to spiritual fineness and united a spiritual whole, and he 
entered where doors were barred, (4) as our bodies here cannot because 
they are gross, and not yet united with spiritual fineness. 

64,5 What was it, then, that entered where doors were barred? Some- 
thing other than the crucified body, or the crucified body itself? Surely, 
Origen, you cannot fail to admit that it was the crucified body itself! 
(6) ft refutes you by the clear demonstration it gave to Thomas, telling him 
besides, “Be not faithless, but believing.” 240 For Christ displayed even the 
mark of the nails and the mark of the lance, and left those very wounds 
in his body even though he had joined his body to a single spiritual one- 
ness. (7) Thus he could have wiped the wounds away too, but to refute 
you, you madman, he does not. Therefore it was the body which had been 
buried for the three days in the tomb, and which had arisen with him in 
the resurrection. For he displayed bones, skin and flesh, as he said, “See 
that a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” 241 

64,8 Why, then, did he enter where doors were barred? Why but to 
prove that the thing they saw was a body, not a spirit — but a spiritual body, 
not a material one, even though it was accompanied by its soul, Godhead, 
and entire incarnate humanity, (g) ft was the same body, but spiritual; 
the same body, once gross, now fine; the same body, once crucified, now 
< brought to life* >; the same body, once conquered, now unconquerable, 
ft was united and commingled with his divine nature and never again 
to be destroyed, but forever abiding, never again to die. (10) For “Christ 
is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that slept.” 242 < But once 
risen > “He dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.” 243 
65,1 But also, to show you why Christ is called “the firstfruits of them 
that slept” 244 even though he was not the first to rise — Lazarus and the 
widow’s son arose before him by his aid, and others by the aid of Elijah 
and Elisha. (2) But since they all died again after rising, Christ is the first- 
fruits of them that slept. For after his resurrection “He dieth no more,” 245 
since, through his life and lovingkindness, he is to be our resurrection. 246 

240 John 20:27. 

241 Luke 24:39. 

242 1 Cor 15:20. 

243 Rom 6:9. 

244 1 Cor 15:20. 

245 Rom 6:9. 

246 Holl yjjicov fieW.cov dvdurauu; eTvai, MSS rj [leTkouja avdaTaan; dvcu. 



65,3 Now if he is the hrstfruits of them that slept, and if his body arose 
in its entirety together with his Godhead, his human nature < must appear 
in its entirety > after its resurrection with none of it left behind, neither 
its body nor anything else. “For thou shalt not leave my soul in hades, 
neither shalt thou give thine holy one to see corruption.” 247 (4) And what 
is said about the soul in hades means that nothing has been left behind; 
but “holy one” is said to show that the holy body has not seen corrup- 
tion, but has risen uncorrupted after the three days, forever united with 

65,5 But Mister, you claim that these bodies are the skin tunics 248 
though the passage nowhere says so. But you say it because of the seeds 
of the Greeks’ heathen teaching which were sown in you to from that 
source, and because of the Greeks’ perverse notion which brought you to 
this and taught you. (6) "For the natural man receiveth not the things of 
the Spirit; for they are foolishness unto him, because they are spiritually 
discerned.” 249 

65,7 If Adam and Eve had gotten the tunics before their disobedience, 
your falsehood would be a plausible one, and deceptive. But since it is 
plain that < the flesh is already there* > at the time of Eve’s fashioning, 
< how can it not be an easy matter to refute your foolishness?* > What 
was Eve fashioned from? From a body, plainly; scripture says, “God cast 
a deep sleep upon Adam and he slept, and God took one of his ribs.” 250 
(8) But a rib is simply a bone; for God built up “flesh in its place.” If flesh 
is mentioned [at this point], how can its creation still be in prospect? 

65, g And it says earlier, “Let us make man in our image and after our 
likeness.” 251 “And he took dust of the earth,” it says, “and fashioned the 
man.” 252 But dust and flesh are nothing else than body. (10) Then later 
“Adam awoke from his sleep and said, This is bone of my bones and flesh 
of my flesh.” 253 (11) The skin tunics were not there yet — and neither was 
your allegorical falsehood. “Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh,” 
plainly means that Adam and Eve were bodies, and not bodiless. 

247 Ps 15:10. 

248 Cf. Odes of Solomon 25,6; Iren. Haer. 1.5.5; Hippol. Haer. 10.13.4; Clem. Alex. Exc. 
Theod. 55.11. 

249 1 Cor 2:14. 

250 Gen 2:21. 

251 Gen 1:26. 

252 Gen 2:7. 

253 Cf. Gen 2:23. 



65,12 And “She took of the tree and ate” 254 when she was seduced by 
the serpent and fell into disobedience; and Adam heard the voice of God 
walking in the garden in the evening, and Adam and Eve hid themselves 
among the trees.” And God said to Adam, “Where art thou?” But because 
he was found out, Adam answered, “I heard thy voice and hid, for I am 
naked.” 255 (13) What did he mean by “naked?” Did he mean the soul or the 
body? And what did the fig leaves cover, the soul or the body? 

65.14 Then God said, “And who told thee that thou art naked, if thou 
hast not eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee that of it alone thou 
must not eat?” And Adam said, “The woman whom thou gavest me gave 
unto me and I did eat.” 256 Now where was the woman “given” from if not 
from the side, that is, from Adam’s body — before the tunics were given to 
Adam and Eve! 

65.15 And God said to the woman, “What is this that thou hast done?” 
And she said, “The serpent beguiled me and I did eat, and gave unto my 
husband also.” 257 And God laid the curse on the serpent, the pangs of 
childbirth on the woman, and the eating of bread by his sweat on the 

65.16 “And afterwards God said, Behold, Adam hath become as one of 
us. [And now] lest he put forth his hand and touch the tree of life and live 
forever.” 258 (17) And do not suppose, hearer, that the Lord said, “Behold, 
Adam hath become as one of us,” as a statement of fact. He said it in 
reproof, to reproach Adam’s vanity for being won round by the deceit of 
the serpent. What Adam had thought would happen, had not happened; 
that is, Adam had not “become as one of us.” From the desire to rise 
higher, Adam had fallen lower. 

65,18 And it was not from envy that God said, “Let us cast him out, 
lest he put forth his hand to the tree of life, and eat, and live forever,” but 
to make sure that the vessel which had been damaged by its own fault 
would not always remain damaged. (19) Like a master potter he reduced 
the vessel with its self-inflicted damage to its raw material, the earth, [to] 
remold the righteous at the resurrection, completely undamaged, immor- 
tal in glory, capable of enjoying the kingdom — and remold the unrigh- 
teous at the final resurrection, with the ability to undergo the penalty of 

254 Gen 3:6. 

255 Gen 3:8-10. 

256 Gen 3:11-12. 

257 Gen 3:13. 

258 Gen 3:22. 



damnation. (20) For God planted nothing evil, never think it! Fie planted 
just the tree, and by his own decree permitted Adam to take its fruit at 
the proper time, when he needed it. 

65.21 But you will retort, “What becomes of ‘In the day in which ye eat 
thereof ye shall surely die,’ 259 if Adam could eat from it? “Ye shall surely 
die’ would apply to him, surely, no matter when he ate from it!” 

65.22 But to the one who says this I reply, “God decreed Adam’s death 
for the transgression he would commit, since, even before giving the com- 
mandment, God, < who > knows the future, knew that Adam would be 
deceived and eat of the tree.” (23) Because they are mistaken in this point 
the sects blaspheme God and say, “Some God of the Law! He envied Adam, 
cast him out and said, ‘Let us cast him out, lest he put forth his hand and 
take of the tree of life and live forever!’ ” 260 

65,24 But their stupid idea stands exposed as the false accusation it is. 
Not only did God not forbid them to eat from the tree of life in the begin- 
ning; he even encouraged them by saying, “Of every tree in the garden 
thou mayest eat for food.” But the tree of life too was one of “all the trees 
in the garden,” right before Adam’s eyes. (25) Only from the tree of the 
knowledge of good and evil did God forbid them to eat. But Adam’s greedy 
mind disobeyed the commandment instead, from simplicity and < by lis- 
tening > to his wife Eve who had been deceived by the devil. 

65,26 Since Adam, then, had become defective by his own doing, God 
did not want him to live forever defective. Like a master potter God chose 
to change the vessel, which had been spoiled by its own doing, back to 
its raw material, and again change it from its material, as though on the 
wheel, at the regeneration, remaking and renewing it with no defects 
so that it could live forever. (27) Hence at first he threatens death, but 
the second time he no longer says “death,” but says, “Dust thou art, and 
unto dust shalt thou return,” 261 “without having consigned the man to 
death . . ,” 262 (28) And after some other material, “And God made tunics of 
skin and clothed Adam and Eve, and cast them out of the garden.” 263 And 
you see, Origen, that your novel nonsense is worthless. How long Adam 
and Eve had had bodies! 

259 Gen 2:17. 

260 Epiphanius means the Manichaeans; he quotes this as a Manichaean argument at 
Pan. 66,83,2. Cf. also NHC Testim. Truth 45,23-47,30. 

261 Gen 3:19. 

262 A scriptural citation has fallen out before this one. 

263 Gen 3:21-23. 



66.1 But if this shows your guilt, you unbeliever and worse, and if you 
cannot receive the grace of the Spirit because of your soulish thinking, 
then tell me how wonderful and astonishing is each thing that God has 
done. (2) How has the heaven been spread out from nothing and hung in 
mid-air? How was the sun made bright, and how were the moon and the 
stars created? From which primal matter was the earth taken, when it was 
made from nothing? From which materials were the mountains hewn? 

66,3 What was the origin of the whole world, which God brought 
forth from nothing? How were the clouds formed, which cover the sky in 
an instant? (4) Where were the gnats and fleas provided from by God’s 
command, for his servant Moses? How did God change Moses’ wooden 
rod into a living serpent that crawled? How was Moses’ hand changed to 
snow? (5) And in Adam’s time too, you unbeliever, God willed, and made 
actual skin tunics without animals, without human craft and any of the 
various sorts of human work — < and > made them for Adam and Eve at 
the moment of his willing them, as he willed at the beginning, and the 
heaven, and all things, were made at that very moment. 

66,6 And for those who care < to choose* > life, salvation can be put 
in a few words and heresy is an easy matter to refute. But for those who 
are unwilling to receive the doctrine of salvation, not even the whole 
aeon would not be time enough for discussion, since, as the sacred oracle 
says, “Their hearing is ever deaf, like the < deaf > adder that stoppeth her 
ears, refusing to receive the voice of the charmer and the spell cast by the 
wise.” 264 However, although what I say here is not extensive, I believe that 
it is of no little value to the sons of the truth. 

67.1 But I shall pass on to the discussion of resurrection which you base 
on the first Psalm. For when you deceive the ignorant, you waster of effort, 
by palming your ideas off on them, and say that some “simple” people 
believe that the impious do not attain resurrection — and when you show 
later how you ask these “simple” people which body will be raised, and 
< mock them by replying* > in your own words for the people you call 
“simple” — < you are compelled >, for I must say this plainly, to call your 
so-called “simple” people “good.” 265 (2) < For > you are not saying this of 
yourself, and no grace is being given to your speech; you say it because 
of the truth, which compels you to give the signs of the superiority and 
goodness of the servants of God! 

264 Ps 57:5-6- 

265 Cf. 64,10,7; 12,5. 



67.3 Even the heathen proverb says, “Simple is the speech of the truth.” 
We are accustomed to call the harmless persons, whom the Savior praises 
at many points, "simple.” < For example >, [he says], “Be simple as doves,” 266 
and, “Suffer the little children” — that is, the simplest of all — “to come 
unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” 267 

67.4 Now the “simple,” as you say, gave you the answer that the resur- 
rection is that of this body in which we are enclosed. And when you raise 
a difficulty in reply to this and ask them, “Is it a resurrection of the whole 
body or of a part of it?” they answer, “of the whole body.” (5) But when, in 
your very silly way, you say that this is no good because of the blood that 
is drained from our bodies, and the flesh, hair, and other things that are 
voided through our spittle, nostrils and excrement, there is a great deal 
of trickery in your wrong diagnosis. A better man than I, the venerable 
and most blessed Methodius, has already countered your fabrication with 
many arguments. 

67,6 But you will also hear a bit from my modest self. Anything we 
want, we want perfectly clean; we do not require the excess material 
which is removed from a thing that is clean. (7) Once a garment has been 
woven on the web it is complete and that is what is cut from the warp, 
with < nothing > added to it or removed from it. If it is given to a fuller 
it will not be expected back from the fuller reduced in size; even from 
the fuller we get it back perfectly whole. (8) Thus it is plain to everyone 
that it is entirely the same garment, and has become a smaller body in 
no way but by the removal of the spots and dirt. And surely, since he has 
removed the dirt, we will not demand the garment back from the fuller 
dirty; we shall want the garment itself, untorn, in good condition, and 
perfectly clean. 

67, g But here is another illustration. You have raised the question 
of the fluid which is drained away by bleedings, illness, excretion, and 
the dribbling of our spittle and nostrils; but you will be refuted from the 
very things you have said. (10) For not just this is in the body; vermin — 
lice and bugs — grow from us, as it were, and are not considered either 
apart from the body or part of the body. (11) And no one has ever hunted 
for a bug shed by the body, or a louse bred from the flesh itself, to keep 
it, but to destroy it. Nor would anyone regard its destruction as a loss. 
(12) <Just so > we shall not make a foolish search for the fluids we 

266 Matt 10:16. 

267 Matt 19:14. 



excrete — though it is often as you say 268 — nor would God return these 
for our reconstitution. He would leave them behind the second time, like 
dirt which is the garment’s dirt but has been removed from the garment 
itself for neatness’ sake. The creator would plainly return the whole gar- 
ment by the goodness of his skill, with nothing missing or added; for all 
things are possible to him. 

67.13 But if it were not that way — you, with your brains damaged by 
your long-winded notion! [If it were not that way], our Savior and Lord, 
the Son of God, who came to make our salvation entirely sure, and who 
illustrated our hope mostly in his own person to prove his truthfulness to 
us, could have discarded part of himself and raised part of himself, you 
trouble-maker, in keeping with your destructive fiction and accumulation 
of a host of worthless arguments. 

67.14 For to refute your sort of argument, he himself says at once, 
“Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; 
but if it fall and die, it beareth many grains.” 269 And whom was he calling 
a “grain?” (15) ft is plain to everyone, and the whole world agrees, that he 
was speaking of himself — that is, of the body of the holy flesh which he 
had received from Mary, and of his whole human nature. (16) But he said 
“fall” and “die” of the three-day sleep of his body itself as he says, “Where 
the fallen carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together” 270 — and 
you yourself will admit it. For his Godhead can never sleep, fall, be mas- 
tered, or be changed. 

67,17 And so the grain of wheat died and rose. Well, did the grain rise 
whole, or did a remnant of it rise? Did another grain rise in place of the 
original grain, or did He Who Is himself arise into being? You will surely 
not deny < that the body* > arose, which Joseph had wrapped in a shroud 
and laid in a new tomb. (18) Then who did the angels tell the women had 
risen? — as they say, “Whom seek ye? Jesus of Nazareth? He is risen, he is 
not here. Come, see the place!” 271 This was as much as to say, “Come, see 
the place, and let Origen know that there is no question of a remnant’s 
lying here; the body has risen whole.” (ig) And to show you that it has 
risen whole, < scripture says > in refutation of your nonsense, “He is risen. 
He is not here.” For no remnant of him was left behind; the very same 
body < had risen > which had been nailed [to the wood], pierced with the 

268 Holl: noTXay&i;-, MSS: outcoi;. 

269 John 12:24. 

270 Matt 24:28. 

271 Matt 28:5-6. 



lance, seized by the Pharisees, spat upon. (68,1) And why should I give the 
multitudes of arguments that demolish this pitiable wretch and the non- 
sense that has been generated in him? As Christ has risen and has raised 
his own body, so he will raise us. 

68,2 For the holy apostle demonstrated our hope on this basis by 
saying, “How say some of you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 
If there is no resurrection of the dead, neither is Christ risen. And if 
Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain and your hope is vain. And 
we are also found false witnesses of God, for we have said that he raised 
up Christ, whom he raised not up, 272 and so on. (3) And later he adds, 
“This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on 
immortality.” 273 And he didn’t just say “mortal,” or just say “corruptible,” 
or, “the immortal soul.” He said “this corruptible,” with the addition of 
“this;” and “this mortal,” with the addition of “this.” (4) His grain has risen 
itself, whole. A part of him has not risen; he has risen whole, and not as 
a grain different than the first. The very grain that fell in the tomb has 
risen whole. 

68,5 And how can your nonsense have any validity? The sacred scrip- 
ture knows of two “grains,” one in the Gospel and one in the Apostle. 
(6) And the one gives the full explanation because of the process that has 
been carried to completion in it, which is the pattern of < our > resurrec- 
tion. For by giving this teaching and putting it into practice, the Savior has 
surely done everything to prove it to us. (7) No sooner did he speak of the 
grain than he raised the grain, as a true confirmation of the faith of our 
hope for our resurrection. 

68,8 Here the apostle takes over by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, once 
more using a grain of wheat to tell us of the saints’ glory after the res- 
urrection, and displays their < hope > for the enjoyment of good things. 
(9) He denounces unbelievers with, “But thou wilt say unto me, How are 
the dead raised up? With what body do they come?” 274 And to anyone 
who says such things he replies, “Fool!” For anyone with any doubt of 
resurrection is a fool and has no understanding. (10) Then he says, “or of 
other seeds, and it is not quickened except it die. But God giveth it a body 
as he hath willed, and to every seed its own body. Thou fool, that which 
thou sowest is not quickened except it die. And that which thou sowest, 

272 1 Cor 15:12-15. 

273 1 Cor 15:53. 

274 1 Cor 15:35. 



thou sowest not the body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of 
wheat or of other seeds, and it is not quickened except it die. But God 
giveth it a body as he hath willed, and to every seed its own body 275 

68,11 And you see that the body is not changed. No one sows barley 
and looks for wheat, and no one has sown cummin and gotten barley; 
the thing that is sown is the same as the thing that is raised. (12) But 
if — here, in the case of this perishable wheat which is not under judg- 
ment — < some > of it is left below in the ground and its shoot comes up, 
the part that is left behind is of no use, but the thing that comes up from 
it is better. 

68,13 But because of the unbelief of those who do not look for the hope 
of God, Paul chose to display its splendor. In fact, the grain of wheat is 
a very tiny thing. Where are the roots, the bottom parts of it, the stems 
and the joints, in so tiny a grain? Where is such a number of quills, heads, 
sheaths, ears, and grains multiplying? 

69,1 But to put this more clearly by describing things that are like it — 
how could Moses, the son of Jochabed and Amram, pierce the rock with 
his staff, bring water from its impenetrable matter, change something dry 
to something wet? How could he strike the sea, and part it into twelve 
highways in the sea, by < God’s > command? (2) How could he gather so 
many frogs in an instant? How could he send the lice upon the Egyptians? 
How could he mingle the hail with fire? How could he make the blackness 
of a moonless night even darker for the Egyptians? How could he slay the 
Egyptians’ first-born with pestilence? 

69.3 How could he lead the people whose shepherd he was with a pil- 
lar of fire? How could he bring the bread of angels by prayer and supplica- 
tion? How could he provide the flock of quails, and glut so many myriads 
by God’s command? 

69.4 How could he hear God’s voice? Why was he, among so many 
myriads, privileged to hear God’s voice and talk with God? How could 
he not need the requirements of human nature for forty days and forty 
nights? How could his flesh be changed to the brightness and shining ray 
of the sun, making the people so giddy that the children of Israel could 
not look him in the face? How could his hand, though flesh, be changed 
to snow? (5) How could he bid the earth open its mouth and swallow 
Korah, Dathan, Abiram and Onan (sic!)? (6) Why was he told at the end 

275 Cf. 1 Cor 15:36-38. 



of his life, “Ascend the mount and die there?” 276 Why does no man know 
his sepulcher? Holy writ suggests that Moses’ body was not buried by men 
but, as may reasonably be supposed, by holy angels. (7) And all this was 
while Moses was still in this world and still in this ensouled body — which 
had, at the same time, become fully spiritual. 

69,8 Taking this as the earnest < of our hope, let us use it > as the 
model of the perfect sprouting then, when “It is sown in dishonor, it is 
raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power” 277 is fulfilled, 
(g) For how can something sown without knowing where be anything but 
“weak?” How can something dumped in a grave and heaped with dust, 
something torn, decomposed, and without perception, be anything but 

69,10 How can a thing be anything but “honored,” when it is raised, 
abides forever, and obtains a kingdom in heaven by its hope in God’s 
lovingkindness — where “The righteous” shall shine “as the sun;” 278 where 
they shall be “equal to the angels;” 279 where they shall dance with the 
bridegroom; where Peter and the apostles “shall sit on twelve thrones, 
judging the twelve tribes of Israel;” 280 where the righteous shall receive 
“what eye hath not seen and ear hath not heard, neither hath entered 
into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that 
love him?” 281 (11) Our resurrection, then, rests with God, and so does any 
man’s — righteous and unrighteous, unbeliever and believer, some raised 
to eternal life but some to eternal damnation. 

70,1 Quiet, Babel, you ancient confusion who have been brought to life 
again for us! Quiet, Sodom, and your loud, awful clamor that ascends to 
God! (2) “For the redeemer shall come from Zion, and turn away iniqui- 
ties from Jacob,” 282 “The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall arise,” 283 
and “We shall be caught up to meet him in the air” 284 as < my > better, the 
< venerable and > blessed Methodius, has said, and I myself have added by 
building on the same words. 

276 Cf. Deut 32:49-50. 

277 1 Cor 15:43. 

278 Matt 13:43. 

279 Luke 20:36. 

280 Matt 19:26. 

281 1 Cor 2:9. 

282 Isa 59:20. 

283 1 Cor 15:52. 

284 1 Thes 4:7. 



70,3 For from the context of each expression one can see what the 
wages are. Though the holy apostle distinguished the natures of the two 
kinds [of saved persons], he united them in one hope with his words, “We 
shall be caught up in the clouds to meet him” — showing that it is actually 
this body < that rises > and not something else; for one who is “caught up” 
has not died. (4) And by indicating that “We shall not precede the resur- 
rection of the dead” 285 as proof that what is impossible for men is easy 
and possible for God — “For we, the living, shall not precede them that 
are asleep and their resurrection” 286 — he made it plain that the living are 
caught up as well. This shows, from the living, that the bodies of the dead 
will be raised whole; and from the fact that the dead precede those who 
are alive and remain, it shows what is possible to God. (5) “For the dead 
shall arise, and they that are in the graves shall be raised up,” 287 says the 

But since I do not want to omit what the prophet Ezekiel says about 
resurrection in his own apocryphon, 288 I shall give it here. (6) To give a 
symbolic description of the just judgment in which the soul and the body 
share, Ezekiel says, A king had made soldiers of everyone in his kingdom 
and had no civilians but two, one lame and one blind, and each < of these > 
lived by himself in his own home. (7) When the king gave a marriage feast 
for his son he invited everyone in his kingdom, but despised the two civilians, 
the lame man and the blind man. They were annoyed however, and thought 
of an injury to do the king. 

70.8 Now the king had a garden. The blind man addressed the lame man 
from a distance and said, “How much did we have to eat with the crowds 
who were invited to the celebration? Come on, let’s get back at him for what 
he did to us!" 

“How?" asked the other. 

70.9 And the blind man said “Let’s go into the garden and ruin the plants 
there. ” 

But the lame man said, “And how can I, when I’m lame and can’t [even] 

285 Cf. 1 Thes 4:15. 

286 1 Thes 4:16. 

287 Isa 26:19. 

288 Epiphanius is the sole authority for this fragment of the Apocryphon of Ezekiel, 
Fragment 1 in the translation of J. R. Mueller and S. E. Robinson, in Charlesworth I pp. 
487-495. Jewish versions of the story are found at T. Sanhedrim giab; Mekhilta Exod. 15:1. 



And the blind man said, “Can I do anything myself, when I can’t see where 
I’m going? But let’s figure something out.” 

70.10 The lame man plucked the grass nearby him, braided a rope, threw 
it at the blind man, and said, “Grab it, and come here to me by the rope.’’ He 
did as he was told, and when he got there, the lame man said, “Here, you be 
my feet and carry me, and I’ll be your eyes and guide you from on top, to the 
right and to the left. ” 

70.11 By so doing they got into the garden, and whether they did it any 
damage or not, their tracks were there to be seen in the garden afterwards. 
(12) And the merry-makers who entered the garden on leaving the wedding 
were surprised to see the tracks in the garden. They told the king and said, 
“All are soldiers inyour kingdom and no one is a civilian. Then why are there 
civilians’ tracks in the garden?” 

70,13 The king was surprised — as the parable in the apocryphon says, 
obviously speaking to men in a riddle. God is not unaware of anything. 
But the story says, Tke king sent for the lame man and the blind man and 
asked the blind man, “Didn’t you go into the garden?" but the blind man 
answered, “Oh, Sir! You see my handicap, you know I can< ‘t > see where I’m 
going!” (14) Then he went to the lame man and asked him, “Did you go into 
my garden?" But he replied, “Sir, do you want to make me miserable over my 
handicap?" And then judgment was stymied. 

70,15 What did the righteous judge do? Seeing how the two had been put 
together he put the lame man on the blind man and examined them both 
under the lash, and they couldn’t deny the charge. (16) They incriminated 
each other, the lame man by saying to the blind man, “Didn’t you pick me up 
and carry me?” and the blind man by saying to the lame man, “Weren’t you 
my eyes?” (17) Thus the body is linked with the soul and the soul with the 
body, for the exposure of their joint work, and there is a full judgment of 
both, the soul and the body; < they are jointly responsible* > for the things 
they have done, whether good or evil. 

70,18 And see — you who care for your salvation — how all the attackers 
of the truth have added to their own wickedness, as the prophet David 
says, “He hath conceived labor and brought forth wrongdoing.” 289 (19) For 
whoever induces labor with heretical notions within him also gives birth 
to wickedness, his own and his followers’: “He hath digged a cistern and 
shoveled it out, and shall himself fall into the pit.” 290 

289 Ps 7:15. 

290 Ps 7:16. 



70,20 But if anyone can reply to all this, let him come on! If anyone 

< cares > to oppose God, let him make the venture! For God is mighty 
and “will not tire, or hunger, or thirst, and there is no finding out of his 
counsel” 291 by which he raises decayed bodies, saves what is lost, quick- 
ens what is dead; by which he clothes the corruptible with incorruption, 
brings the fallen seed to resurrection, by his renewing of it brings what has 
been sown and has died to a radiance more glorious. So we find in many 
scriptures where there are hints of our resurrection. 

71.1 In David< ’s > Psalm on the rededication of the house of David, the 
prophet aptly said of resurrection — [speaking] as one who awaited what 
was to come and saw it by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration — “I will exalt thee, 

0 Lord, for thou hast lifted me up and renewed mine house” — that is, the 
fallen body — “and not made my foes to rejoice over me.” 292 

71.2 By holding every part of the hope [of resurrection] ready, Solomon 
too urged us in riddles to prepare for the next life. He says, “Prepare thy 
works for their end” — by “end” he means departure from this life — “and 
make ready for the held.” 293 [And yet] he directed the admonition to all 
alike — countrymen and townsmen, the learned and the artisans, from 
whom no agricultural labor is expected. (3) Why should linen-weavers, sil- 
versmiths, poets and chroniclers prepare to farm? But his cry summoned 
all together without distinction, and said further, “Make ready for the 
held.” < What > can it be suggesting but that the interment of the body, its 
end by burial, is a “held” for everyone, townsmen and countrymen alike? 
(4) And then he says next, meaning the same hope of resurrection, “And 
thou shalt rebuild thine house.” 294 He didn’t say, “Thou shalt build thine 
house;” it was built once by its formation in the womb, when our mothers 
conceived us all at our formation. The resurrection will come from the 
earth, or “held,” to a house that is no longer being “built” but, because of 
its cleansing in the entombed corpse, rebuilt. 

71,5 And as the Savior said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days 

1 will raise,” or build, “it.” 295 For he is wisdom, and < excels* > by a “coun- 
sel which there is no” human “finding out” 296 By it < he gathers* > our 

< remains* > from inaccessible places, since some of our bodies have been 

291 Isa 40:28. 

292 Ps 29:2. 

293 Prov 24:27. 

294 Prov 24:27. 

295 John 2:19. 

296 Cf. Isa 40:28. 



scattered as ashes and some in the sea, while some have been destroyed by 
birds of prey, wild beasts, or worms — [gathers us] and brings us < whole 
to regeneration* >. (6) For if God brought the < existent > from non-exis- 
tence to existence, how much more easily can he restore the existent to 
the state which is proper to it? In this way he gives a just judgment, and 
will not judge one in another’s place, depriving me of what is mine. 

71,7 For if the enjoyment and inheritance of the kingdom of heaven 
are [only] the soul’s, let the body have what it wants! Gideon and his 
men may live at ease and not be afflicted “in sheepskins and goatskins.” 297 
John, with his garment of camel’s hair, need not labor in vain. Nor need 
we mortify the flesh in holy retirement, master our bodies through purity. 
(8) But if the body is the soul’s partner in its disciplines, purity, fasting and 
other virtues, “God is not” [so] “unrighteous” 298 [as] to deprive the laborer 
of the fruit of his labor, and award no recompense to the body which has 
labored with the soul. 

71, g [If there is no resurrection of the body], judgment will plainly be 
suspended. For if the soul appears all by itself it can reply to its sentence, 
‘The responsibility for the sin is not mine. Fornication, adultery and wan- 
tonness are caused by that corruptible body of earth. For I have done 
none of these things since it left me” — and it will have a good case, and 
undo God’s judgment. 

71,10 And even if God should bring the body to judgment by itself — for 
he can, as I have already shown through Ezekiel 299 For even though the 
action was set in a parable, that kind of thing was done as an allegory of 
the truth that was expressed in the [other] parable, when bone was joined 
to bone and joint to joint and, although the bones were dry and there was 
no soul or spirit in them yet to move them, the bodies were put together 
at once, and made firm by the prophet’s command. (11) And if God so 
wills, he has the power to make this body appear and be moved without 
a soul, as Abel’s blood, which is body, not soul, spoke after his death. (For 
the blood is not soul; anything that can be seen is a body.) 

71,12 But the body cannot be judged without a soul. It too could retort, 
“I didn’t sin, the soul did! Since it was separated from me have I com- 
mitted adultery, fornication, idolatry?” And the body would dispute 
God’s righteous judgment, and with reason. (13) For this and many other 

297 Heb 11:37. 

298 Heb 6:10. 

299 Cf. Pan. 64,70,13 and Ezek 37:4-6. 



cogent reasons God in his wisdom brings our dead bodies and our souls to 
regeneration by his kindly promises, so that one who has grown weary in 
holiness may receive his whole good reward from God; and those whose 
deeds were worthless may be judged as well, body with soul and soul with 

71,14 And as a further assurance of our salvation < the Word himself* > 
came in the flesh, took perfect manhood and < appeared among us* >, 
to strengthen his faith within us — foreknowing your future unbelief, Ori- 
gen, and desiring < to confirm* > the doctrine which you doubt more, and 
which is doubted in many sects, the Manichaeans and Marcionites whose 
unbelief is similar to yours. And finally, when he had accomplished every- 
thing to confirm and establish his faith and truth in his own person, he 
did [the same things] for all to see. (15) For after rising from the dead 
[himself] he raised many bodies of the saints with him, and they entered 
the holy city with him, as 1 have also described elsewhere. 300 (16) And to 
leave no opportunity for an unfair stratagem, the scripture did not say, 
“the saints arose.” It hastened < to confirm* > that very thing which is 
doubted by unbelievers, and to confirm what we know of salvation said, 
“the bodies of the saints.” (17) And it wasn’t just that he raised them, but 
that they showed < themselves > to many in the city when the words, 
“bringing forth prisoners in manhood” 301 — that is, bringing the souls of 
the risen bodies — had been fulfilled in them by his power. For these were 
the prisoners of the camp, who had been confined in hades. (18) And it 
says, “Likewise them that embitter, the dwellers in graves” 302 to mean the 
bodies of the risen. And he did not say, “them that have been embittered,” 
or “are embittered,” but, “them that embitter.” 

71,19 For when the newly dead, together with the most ancient, 
appeared to many in the city — (1 presume that he began the resurrection 
with Adam. And the newly dead < had been buried in the same place, 
Golgotha, and their bodies laid to rest above Adam’s, so that Christ, 
who* > had been crucified < there, raised*> those buried above Adam 
on Golgotha < together with Adam* [himself] >, fulfilling the scripture, 
“Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ,” who was 
crucified above thee, “shall give thee light.” 303 ) [When the recently dead 
appeared] and other members of their families recognized < them >, at 

300 Anc. 100,2; Pan. 46,5,10. 

301 Ps 67:7. 

302 Ps 67:7. 

303 Eph 5:14. 



first they astonished the beholders. (20) For if a father met a child who 
had risen, or a brother met a brother, or a < kinsman > met a kinsman who 
had died ten or twenty years before, and asked in amazement, ’’Aren’t you 
so-and-so, whom we buried here? How have you risen and come back?” 

(21) the newly risen would ask in reply, “What happened here among you 
three days ago, when the earth was shaken?” 

And when the first said, “We arrested a fraud named Jesus who deceived 
the people and crucified him, and that put a stop to the deception,” 

(22) the risen would at last confess the Lord’s grace and truth and say, 
“Woe to you! You have denied and crucified the Author of the world’s 
salvation! He has raised us by the mighty power of his Godhead and man- 
hood.” This at last would provide the fulfillment of the sacred scripture, 
“likewise them that embitter, the dwellers in the graves.” (23) For when 
they heard from the risen that they had risen through the Lord Jesus, they 
would feel bitter as death because they had ventured to deny and crucify 
the Author of life. (24) And perhaps the kindly Lord did even this for the 
benefit of those who saw the risen. For I presume that many who were 
pricked in their consciences by seeing the risen, were benefited by it, and 
became believers. You be converted and believe too, you Origenists, and 
stop destroying many with your imposture! 

72,1 But this will be enough about the would-be sage, Origen, who 
named himself Adamantius for no good reason, and his outrage against 
the truth in many points of the faith, the destructive doctrine of his 
clumsy invention. (2) I shall pass his sect by too, beloved, and investigate 
the others next, with my usual plea for God’s aid to my lack of education, 
which will enable me to resist and overcome every voice that is raised in 
vain against the truth, as the holy prophet Isaiah said, (3) “Every voice 
that is raised against thee, all of them shalt thou overcome, but they shall 
be guilty.” 304 I shall thus carry out my promise in God to those who are 
willing to read attentively for exercise in truth, and as a medicine, like an 
antidote, for each wild beast and poisonous snake — I mean these as sym- 
bols of the sects — and for this sect of Origenists, which looks like a toad 
noisy from too much moisture which keeps croaking louder and louder. 

72,4 Taking the Lord’s resurrection for a preventive draught, as it were, 
let us spit out the oil of the toad’s poison, and the harm that has been 
done by the noxious creature. (5) For this is what has happened to Origen 
with all his followers, and I mourn him on this account. Ah, how badly you 

304 Isa 54:17. 



have been hurt, and how many others you have hurt — as though you have 
been bitten by a baneful viper, I mean secular education, and become the 
cause of others’ death. 

72,6 Naturalists say that a dormouse hides in its den and bears a 
number of young at once, as many as five and more, but vipers hunt them. 
(7) And if a viper finds the den full, since it cannot eat them all it eats its 
fill of one or two then and there, but punctures the eyes of the rest, and 
after they are blinded brings them food, and feeds them until it is ready to 
take each one out and eat it. (8) But if simple people happen upon such 
creatures and take them for food, they poison themselves with < the > ani- 
mals that have been fed on the viper’s venom, (g) And you too, Origen, 
with your mind blinded by your Greek education, have spat out venom 
for your followers, and become poisonous food for them, harming more 
people with the poison by which you yourself have been harmed. 


Here, too, are the contents of the second Section of this same second Vol- 
ume; in the system of numeration we have indicated, it is the fifth Section. 
It contains five Sects, as follows: 

65 65. < Paulianists, derived > from Paul the Samosatian, who was 
made bishop of the metropolis of Antioch. He all but insisted that Christ 
is non-existent, for he portrayed him as an uttered word that has existed 
only since the time of Mary, and said that what is said about him in the 
sacred scriptures is predictive — and that he did not preexist, but < came 
into existence > in Mary’s time, through the incarnation. 

66.1 66. Manichaeans, also called Acvanites, the disciples of Mani the 
Persian. They pretendedly speak of Christ but worship the sun and the 
moon, and invoke stars, powers and daemons. They introduce two first 
principles, a good one and an evil one, [both of them] eternal. (2) They say 
that Christ has been manifest [only] in appearance, and that he suffered 
[only] in appearance. They blaspheme the Old Testament and the God 
who spoke in it, and declare that not the whole world is God’s creation, 
but [only] part of it 

67.1 67. Hieracites, who derive from Hieracas of Leontopolis in Egypt, 
an expositor of scripture. Although they use the Old and the New Tes- 
taments, they deny the resurrection of the flesh. And they entirely for- 
bid marriage, though they accept monks and virgins, and the continent 
and widows. (2) They say that children who have not reached the age of 
puberty have no part in the kingdom, since they have not engaged in the 

68 68. Melitians, who live in Egypt and are a schism — though not a 
sect — because they would not pray with persons who had fallen away 
during the persecution. Now, however, they have become associated with 
the Arians. 

69.1 69. Arians, also called the Arian Nuts, who say that the Son of 
God is a creature and that the Holy Spirit is the creature of a creature, 
and maintain that the Savior took only flesh from Mary and not a soul. 
(2) Arius was a presbyter of Alexander, the bishop of Alexandria. 

This is the summary of the five Sects of the second Section of Volume 
Two — though counting from the beginning of the series, it is the fifth 



Against Paul the Samosatian 1 45, but 65 of the series 

1,1 Their successor 2 is Paul, called the Samosatian, who was born after 
Navatus and Origen. (Origen is at last counted as a heretic because of 
the deliberate arrogance with which he exalted himself against the truth, 
through his boastful nonsense and the idea of this that was instigated by 
the devil. (2) He must be mourned as one who has indeed come to grief 
“through envy of the devil” 3 and fallen from a height; for the saying, “The 
fascination of evil obscures what is good, and the roving of desire per- 
verteth the innocent mind,” 4 applies exactly to him.) 

1,3 Now this Paul the Samosatian whom it has occurred to me to dis- 
cuss, whose name I mentioned at the start and whose sect I am < now > 
describing, was from Samosata, which is off towards Mesopotamia and 
the Euphrates. (4) He was made bishop of the holy catholic church at 
Antioch at this time, during the reigns of the emperors Aurelian and 
Probus. 5 But he grew proud and was deprived of the truth, and revived 
the sect of Artemon 6 who had headed it many years before, but which 
had been snuffed out. 

1,5 Paul claims that God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, 7 is one God, 
but that God’s Word and Spirit are always in him, just as a man’s own 
word is in his heart. (6) The Son of God is not an entity but is within God 
himself — just what Sabellius, Navatus, Noetus and others have said. Still, 
Paul does not say the same as they, but something different. (7) The Word 
came, dwelt in Jesus who was a man, < and after doing his work ascended 
to the Father again* >. (8) And therefore, Paul says, God is one. The Father 

1 The most significant ancient accounts are collected at Loots, Paulus von Samosata. 
Most derive ultimately from the Epistle of the Council of Antioch which deposed Paul 
in 268, and the Hypomnemata, or minutes of the debate between Paul and the presbyter 
Malchio which was held at that council. Notable are Eus. H. E. 5.28.1-2; the fifth century 
monk Leontius’ Contra Nestorianos et Eutychianos, Appendix to Book III; and the Scholia 
of Leontius preserved in Theodore, De Spermatis, PG 1213D-1216B. Though Epiphanius 
has read Eusebius, his information appears to be independent of the Council of Antioch. 
It may be oral, and represent the sort of thing the Paulianists of his own day were saying. 

2 I.e., the successor of Navatus and Origen. 

3 Wisd Sol 2:24. 

4 Wisd Sol 4:12. 

5 Eusebius mentions Probus’ having been made emperor after Aurelian, HE. 7.30.22. 

6 Cf. Eus. H. E. 5.28.1. As other authorities say “Artemas,” and Eusebius himself says 
Artemon only here, it is probable that Epiphanius is using Eusebius at this point. 

7 Contrast Loofs p. 85 (Leontius, Scholia), “Paul did not say that the Father, the Son and 
the Holy Spirit are the same. He said that the Father is God the creator of all, the Son is the 
mere man, and the Holy Spirit is the grace which was present in the apostles.” 



is not a father, the Son is not a son, and the Holy Spirit is not a holy spirit, 
but there is one God, the Father, and his Son in him like a word in a man. 
(9) Paul supposedly finds his heresy in the following texts: the words of 
Moses, “The Lord is thy God, the Lord is one.” 8 (10) But he does not claim, 
as Noetus did, that the Father suffered. He says, “The Word came, acted 
alone, 9 and returned to the Father.” And there is a great deal of absurdity 
in this teaching. 

2.1 But let’s see whether the deluded man’s own words can be proved. 
For he reminds us that Christ said, “I am in the Father and the Father in 
me.” 10 (2) Now we ourselves say that the divine Word is of the Father, 
and is with him eternally and begotten of him, but we do not speak of the 
Father without a subsistent Word. (3) On the contrary, the Father’s Word 
is the only-begotten Son, the divine Word, as he says, “Whosoever shall 
confess me, him will I confess before my Father.” * 11 And by saying, “me” 
before “my Father,” he showed that the Father is truly subsistent, < and 
that the Son is truly subsistent also* >. 

2,4 These people, with their covert introduction of Judaism, have noth- 
ing more to say than the Jews do. They must be termed neo-Jews, and 
Samosatians, nothing but an alleged [Christianity] in name < and > sup- 
position. (5) By denying the God [begotten] of God, the only-begotten 
Son and the Word, they have become like those who denied him when he 
was here — God’s murderers, the murderers of the Lord, and the deniers 
of God. Actually, however, < they are neither Christians nor Jews* >, since 
they do not have circumcision or keep the Sabbath, but < hold* > Jewish 
< views* > on everything else. 

3.1 Now we too, in fact, maintain that there are not two Gods or God- 
heads, but one Godhead. For since we say that there are not two Fathers, 
two Sons or two Holy Spirits, but a Father, a Son and a Holy Spirit, < we 
speak oP > one Godhead < and* > one glory. (2) Paul, however, does not 
call the Father the only God because he is the source [of the Trinity]. 
When he < says that he > is the only God, he is doing his best to deny the 
divinity and reality of the Son and the Holy Spirit. He holds instead that 
the Father is one God who has begotten no Son, (3) so that there are the 
two Imperfects, a Father and a Son — the Father who has not begotten 

8 Deut 6:4. 

9 Loots, Holl povov, Bardy, Diekamp, MSS povoi;. 

10 John 14:10. 

11 Matt 10:32. 



a Son, and the Word of the living God and true Wisdom who is not the 
fruit 12 [of the Father]. 

3.4 For they believe that the Word is like the word in a human heart, 
and the sort of wisdom everyone has in his human soul if God has given 
him understanding. 13 They therefore say that God, together with his Word, 
is one Person, just as a man and his word are one. As I said, they believe 
no more than the Jews do but are blind to the truth, and deaf to the divine 
word and the message of eternal life. 

3.5 For they do not respect the Gospel’s true saying, “In the beginning 
was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All 
things were made through him, and without him was not anything made 
that was made.” 14 (6) For if the Word was in the beginning and the Word 
was with God, his existence is not just as an utterance but as an entity. 
And if the Word was with God, the One he was with is not the Word — for 
the One he was with is not a word. For if God [merely] has a word in his 
heart, and if he does not have a Word he has begotten, how can “was,” 
and “The Word was God,” mean anything? (7) A man’s word is not a man 
with a man, for it is neither alive nor subsistent. It is only a movement of 
a living, subsistent heart, 15 and not an entity. It is spoken, and is at once 
no longer existent, although it stays said. 16 (8) But < this is not the case 
with* > God’s Word, as the Holy Spirit says by the mouth of the prophet, 
“Thy word endureth forever .” 17 And in agreement with this the evangelist 
says — confessing that God has been made manifest and come, but not 
including the Father in the incarnation of the Word — (g) “The Word was 
made flesh and dwelt among us.” 18 And he didn’t say, ‘The Word-and- 
Father was made flesh.” And he also says, “In the beginning was the Word, 
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” 19 — not, The Word 
was in God.” 

4,1 And lest people ill-advisedly alter the words of life and light to their 
own disadvantage and harm, and suppose — “From his youth the heart 

12 Conjectural rendering of axapnov. 

13 Cf. Loofs pp. 77-78 (Leontius Contra Nestorianos), “For wisdom was in the prophets, 
and more so in Moses, and more so in Christ, as in a temple of God.” 

14 John 1:1; 3. 

15 Hiibner and MSS eyei, xod ou YEyEvvv]pEvov, Holl < npoipEpopsvov povov >Kai ol . . . 

16 Hiibner and MSS XaXoupEvop Siapevei, HolkacptmiJsTOii xod ou> SiapEVEi. 

17 Cf. Ps 118:89. 

18 John 1:14. 

19 John 13 . 



of man is bent on the pursuit” of one sort of “evil” 20 or another. (2) Sup- 
pose they begin to argue, “As you say yourself, John didn’t say, ‘The Word 
was in God,’ but ‘The Word was with God.’ 21 Therefore the Word is not 
of the Father’s essence but outside of God.” [If they say this] the truth 
turns around to set her sons straight and confound the ideas that are 
unfaithful to her, (3) and the Only-begotten himself says, "I came forth 
from the Father and am come 22 — and again, "I am in the Father and the 
Father in me.” 23 

4,4 But for our understanding of the proof, the One < who speaks > 
of the Son in the prophets stoops to human weakness — not < by > bear- 
ing physical burdens but < by > providing understandable words — and 
< proves > in terms familiar to us that the Son is truly begotten of him, 
God of God, very God of very God, not outside of him but of his essence. 
(5) And so he says in David, “Before the morning star have I begotten 
thee from the womb,” 24 as the Seventy rendered it. And in the words of 
the other versions — Aquila: “The dew of thy youth is of the womb of the 
morning”; Symmachus: “As in the dewy dawn is thy youth”; Theodotion: 
“From the womb, from the dawn of thy youth”; the fifth version: “From the 
womb, from the dawn is thy dew in thy youth”; the sixth: “From the womb 
they seek thee, dew of thy vigor.” 25 (6) But in the Hebrew it is merem mes- 
saar laktal ieldecheth , 26 which plainly and unambiguously means, “From 
the womb before the morning star have I begotten thee.” For merem is 
“< from > the womb,” and messaar means, “before the earliest dawn,” or 
in other words, “before the morning star.” Laktal is “and before the dew”; 
ieldecheth is "child,” or in other words, “I have begotten thee.” (7) And so 
you are to learn from the verse that the subsistent divine Word was actu- 
ally begotten of the Father, without beginning and not in time, before 
anything existed. 

4,8 For by the star he did not mean just the morning star — though 
indeed there are many stars and the sun and moon, and they were made 
on the fourth day of creation. (And the sea, the trees and their fruit had 
been created earlier — and the firmament and earth and heaven, and 

20 Gen 8:21. 

21 John 13. 

22 John 16:28. 

23 John 14:10. 

24 Ps 109:3. 

25 This is almost exactly as at Origen, Hexapla, ed. Field, Vol. II, p. 266. 

26 Cf. Ps 110:3, Hebrew. 



the angels, who were created together with these. (9) For if angels had 
not been created together with heaven and earth, God would not have 
told Job, “When the stars were brought forth, all the angels praised me 
aloud.”) 27 (10) And so < he wrote* >, "before the morning star,” meaning, 
“before anything was in existence and had been created.” For the Word 
was always with the Father: “Through him all things were made, and with- 
out him was not anything made.” 28 

5,1 But someone might say, “You’ve shown that the angels were before 
the stars, but you’ve said they were created together with heaven and 
earth. Tell us, how have you proved this? Weren’t they, surely, created 
before heaven and earth? For scripture nowhere indicates the time of the 
angels’ creation. (2) And that you have shown that they were before the 
stars, < is perfectly plain >. For if they weren’t, how could they sing God’s 
praises for the creation of the stars? 

5,3 I cannot give the answer to any question from my own reasonings, 
but I can from the text of the scriptures. (4) The word of God makes it 
perfectly clear that the angels were not created after the stars, and that 
they were not created before heaven and earth; for the statement that 
there were no creatures before heaven and earth is plainly a firm one. 
For “God made the heaven and the earth in the beginning ," 29 because this 
is the beginning of < the > creation and < there are > no created things 
before it. 

5,5 And so, as I have indicated, the word in a man cannot be called a 
man, but a man’s word. But if the Word of God is God, it is not a word 
with no subsistence but a subsistent divine Word, begotten of God with- 
out beginning and not in time: (6) for “The Word was made flesh and 
dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of an only-begotten 
of a Father, full of grace and truth.” 30 John testified to him and cried out, 
“This is he of whom 1 said unto you, He that cometh after me is preferred 
before me, for he was before me.” 31 “He came into the world, that through 
him the world might be saved.” 32 “He was in the world, and the world was 
made by him, and the world knew him not.” 33 

27 Job 38:7. 

28 John 1:3. 

29 Gen 1:1. 

30 John 1:14. 

31 John 1:15. 

32 Cf. John 3:17. 

33 John 1:10. 



5.7 Do you see that the Word is only-begotten? Do you see that he came 
into the world among men, yet with the full “glory of the only-begotten 
of a Father?” 34 It is not as though the Father is a Word, or that he has 
appeared as a Father in combination with a Word, like a man appearing 
with his word, < where > his word cannot even appear in the absence of 
the word’s speaker. 

5.8 Now then, whom should I believe? With whom should I agree? 
From whose teachings am I to receive life? From the holy, inspired evan- 
gelists, who have said that the Word was sent from the Father? Or from 
these disciples of Paul the Samosatian, who claim that God is combined 
with the Word and the Word with God, and declare that there is one 
Person — [the person] of the Father including the Word and the person 
of the Word including the Father? (9) If there is [only] one Person, how 
can the one send and the other be sent? For the prophet says, “He shall 
send forth his Word and melt them; he shall breathe forth his Spirit, and 
the waters shall flow” 35 — and again, “I came forth from the Father and am 
come,” 36 and, “I live, and the Father that sent me liveth in me.” 37 

5,10 Now how can the One who has been sent be sent, and appear in 
flesh? “No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten God, which 
is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” 38 And he says, “the 
only-begotten God.” The Word is begotten of the Father but the Father 
was not begotten — hence, “only-begotten God.” 

6,1 For the safety of our souls the divine knowledge proclaimed its own 
truth beforehand, because of its precognition, ft knew the Samosatian’s 
nonsense, the Arians’ heresy, the villainy of the Anomoeans, the fall of the 
Manichaeans, and the mischief of the rest of the sects. (2) And therefore 
the divine message makes us certain of every expression. It does not call 
the Father “only-begotten”; how can One who has never been begotten be 
“only-begotten?” But it calls the Son “only-begotten,” to avoid the supposi- 
tion that the Son is a Father, and the comparison of the divine Word with 
a word in a human heart. 

6,3 For if he is called a “Word,” he is so called for this purpose: to keep 
it from being supposed that he is different from the essence of God the 
Father. And because of the expressions, “only-begotten, full of grace and 

34 John 1:14. 

35 Ps 147:7. 

36 John 16:28. 

37 Cf. John 6:57. 

38 John 1:18. 



truth,” 39 he cannot be a word without subsistence, but must be an entity. 
(4) And you see how much there is to make our salvation sure. “No man 
hath seen God at any time” is a statement of the Father’s invisibility and 
Godhead; but < “only-begotten God” > 40 affirms the manifesation of his 
Godhead through the flesh. 

6,5 But how many other texts, and more, might one select in our sup- 
port and to counter the Samosatian’s stupidity? If the Word was in the 
Father like the word in a human heart, why did he come here and become 
visible in his own person? (6) To describe himself to his disciples he says, 
“He that seen me hath seen the Father.” 41 And he didn’t say, “I am the 
Father”; “me” means that < he himself is an entity in the Father* >. (7) And 
he didn’t say, “I am he,” but, “I am come in my Father’s name, and it is he 
that beareth witness of me.” 42 

6,8 And again, he says of the Holy Spirit, “< I will pray the Father > 
and he shall send you another Advocate.” 43 See how < he says >, “he shall 
send,” "another,” < and > “I,” to show that the Father is an entity, < the Son 
is an entity >, and the Holy Spirit is an entity, (g) For besides saying, “He 
shall glorify me,” of the Holy Spirit, he [also] < says >, “He shall receive of 
mine.” 44 And what is he talking about? The Spirit who proceeds from the 
Father and receives of “me.” 

6,10 Moreover, he says, “Two testimonies of men will be established, 
and I bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness 
of me.” 45 (11) But how many other texts of the kind, and more than these, 
< can one find* >? Look here! He says, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of 
heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and 
prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. (12) Even so, Father: for so it 
seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: 
and no man knoweth the Son save the Father: neither knoweth any man 
the Father save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.” 46 
“Thou hast revealed them unto babes” and, "All things are delivered unto 
me of my Father” are said to uproot the strange doctrine which has been 
invented by these people. 

39 John 1:14. 

40 John 1:18. 

41 John 14:9. 

42 John 5:43; 57. 

43 John 14:16. 

44 John 16:14. 

45 Cf. John 8:17-18. 

46 Matt 11:25-27. 



7,1 But see what men’s perennial opponent, the devil, has spawned 
in them, as though by the diabolic inspiration of their speech. (2) For 
because of the holy Gospels’ plain statement of the their teaching, the 
flunkies of the sect of Jews are ashamed of this and, not to seem entirely 
at odds with the true knowledge of the Gospel, supposedly defend them- 
selves against these charges. (3) They say, “Jesus was a man, and yet God’s 
Word inspired him from on high, 47 and the man says these things about 
himself. The Father together with the Son is one God, but the man makes 
his own person known below, and in this sense there are two persons.” 48 

7,4 Now how can a man be God, you stupidest man in the world, with 
your mind turned away from the heavenly doctrine? How can someone 
who says, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” 49 be a mere man, 50 
as you claim? (5) If the man is like the Father, the Father is not differ- 
ent from the man. If, however, the divine Word, who is perfect and has 
become perfect man, is God begotten of the Father on high, then he is 
speaking clearly and correctly of himself when he says, “He that hath seen 
me hath seen the Father.” (6) And the Jews say the same of him. “Not 
only did they seek to kill him,” says the scripture, “because he did these 
things, but because he said he was the Son of God, claiming equality with 
God.” 51 (7) For once more, in saying, “He that hath seen me hath seen the 
Father,” 52 he is claiming that God the Father is his equal. Now a man is 
not equal to God or like God; but < the One who > is truly begotten of God 
the Father is God the only-begotten Son. 

7,8 For Paul says of him, “who being in the form of God thought it not 
robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and 
took upon him the form of a servant.” 53 (g) < By* > “He was in the form 
< of God* >,” < Paul gave indication of > his Godhead; but as to the form of 

47 Cf. Loofs p. 79 (Leontius, Contra Nestorianos), “What does he mean by saying that 
the constitution of Jesus Christ is different from ours? As we maintain, he differs from us in 
one way — although it is of the utmost importance — that the divine Word is in him what 
the inner man is in ourselves . . .” 

48 This is somewhat comparable to Loofs pp. 84-85 (Theodore’s Scholion from Leon- 
tius), “Paul the Samosatian did not say that the self-subsistent Word had entered into 
Christ. He said that the word was the bidding and commandment, that is, the Father com- 
manded what he would through that man, and performed it.” 

49 John 14:9. 

50 Cf. Loofs p. 64 (Formula Macrostichus of Sardica), “The followers of Paul the Samo- 
satian deny that Christ was God before the ages, and say that later, after the incarnation, 
deification by promotion came to him who had been a mere man." 

51 Cf. John 5:18. 

52 John 14:9. 

53 Phil 2:6-7. 



the servant, he made it clear that this was something added to him, and 
did not say that this had ever been < native > to him. 

7, ro Our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ, the divine Word, often commu- 
nicates with us even in a human way, and frequently speaks in terms of 
human experience, (rr) 54 but not when he says, “I came forth from my 
Father and am come”; 55 this cannot be the utterance of human nature. 
(r2) When, however, he rightly testifies, “If I bear record of myself my 
record is not true,” 56 this is meant to show his humanity. When, on the 
other hand, he testifies of his Godhead, Though I bear record of myself, 
yet my record is true,” 57 this is to show that his divine nature is true divine 
nature, and his human nature true human nature. 

8, r And so there are not two Gods, because there are not two Fathers. 
And the subsistence of the Word is not eliminated, since there is not one 
[mere] combination of the Son’s Godhead with the Father. For the Son 
is not of an essence different from the Father, but of the same essence as 
the Father. He cannot be of an essence different from his Begetter’s or of 
the identical essence; he is of the same essence as the Father. 58 

8,2 Nor, again, do we say that he is not the same in essence as the 
Father; the Son is the same as the Father in Godhead and essence. And 
he is not of another sort than the Father, nor of a different subsistence; 
he is truly the Father’s Son in essence, subsistence and truth. (3) But the 
Father is not the Son; and the Son is not the Father, but truly a Son begot- 
ten of a Father. Thus there are not two Gods, two Sons, or two Holy Spirits; 
the Trinity is one Godhead, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and co-essential. 
(4) For when you say, "of the same essence,” < you > do not mean an iden- 
tification. “Co-essential” does not indicate one [single] thing; neither does 
it differentiate the true Son’s essence from his lawful Father’s and, because 
of the co-essentiality, distinguish his nature [from the Father’s]. 

8,5 For sacred scripture does not proclaim two first principles, but 
one; it says, ‘The house of Judah shall join with the house of Israel, and 
they shall agree upon one first principle” (apxqv) 59 Therefore whoever 
preaches two first principles, preaches two Gods; and whoever denies the 
Word and his subsistence reveals his Judaism. (6) Marcion intimates that 

54 This is paragraph 12 in Holl’s numbering, which omits paragraph 11. 

55 John 16:28. 

56 Cf. John 8:13. 

57 John 8:14. 

58 ETspoouaioi;, TauTooucrios, opoouatop. 

59 Hos 2:2. 



there are two first principles — or rather, three — in opposition to each 
other. But these neo-Jews, these Samosatians, do away with the subsis- 
tence of the Word, showing that they too are murderers of the Lord and 
deniers of our Lord’s salvation. 

8,7 Thus there is one first principle and the Son [begotten] of it — its 
exact image, by nature the replica of his Father, and like him in every 
way. For he is God of God and the Son of the Father, very God of very 
God and light of light, one Godhead and one dignity. (8) Thus scripture 
says, “Let us make man in our image and after our likeness.” 60 So as not to 
divide it does not say, “in thine image”; so as not to imply unlikeness and 
inequality it does not say, “in my image”; it says, “in our image.” And “let 
us make” is said to show that the Father is not strange to his creatures, 
nor the Only-begotten strange to creation, (g) The Father creates with 
the Son, and the Son, through whom all things were made, is co-creator 
with the Father. And since the Son is begotten of the Father there is one 
Son, the perfect Son of a perfect Father; and there is a perfect Father of 
a perfect Son, who is in the image of his Father’s perfection. [He is] “the 
image of the invisible God” 61 — not the model of an image, not the image 
of an image, not unlike the Father, but the Father’s image, showing the 
exact likeness [to the Father] of his true generation from him who has no 
beginning and is not in time. 

8,10 Thus the Son is the image of the Father. It is the same with emper- 
ors. Because the emperor has an image there are not two emperors; there 
is one emperor, with his image. [And] there is one God. He is not one 
imperfect thing, made of two parts; the Father is perfect, the Son is perfect, 
the Holy Spirit is perfect. (11) For < the Son does > not < say >, “I am in the 
Father,” 62 as a word is in a man’s heart; we know a knowing Father with 
a Son, and a Son begotten of a Father. (r2) The divine message < does > 
not < declare > that a Word entered a man for a dwelling, appeared in him 
after his birth, and is on high in God once more, like a word in a human 
heart. This is the product of demon’s madness and bears the marks of all 
denial of God. 

9,1 < I come to a close* > because I believe that these few remarks 
which I have made about this sect will do. Their power is not formidable, 
or such that it cannot be overcome by all wise persons. (2) And we have 

60 Gen 1:26. 

61 Col 1:15. 

62 Cf. John 10:38. 



now uprooted Paul’s thorns by preaching the doctrine of the truth, have, 
as it were, quenched his poison, and pointed out the deadliness of it. Call- 
ing for aid on the Father with the Son — on the truly existent God and the 
truly subsistent Son he has begotten, and on his Holy Spirit, who subsists 
as a Spirit — (3) and < arming ourselves* > with the salvation of the work 
of the incarnate Christ, we have broken the van of this assault of the neo- 
Jews with the sign of our victory over death, I mean the cross. Let us go 
on to the rest, beloved. 

9,4 For there is a viper called the dryinas which is like this heresiarch. 
It is said that a dryinas is a viper, and that its den is very often near grass 
or, also, oaks. This is why it is called a dryinas — from its preference for 
trees, and its camouflaging of itself among the fallen leaves with the color 
of each leaf. (5) The beast does not have a particularly painful bite, but 
if it remains [undetected] it causes death. (6) In the same way this man, 
with his sect, pretends to belong to the faithful by bearing Christ’s name 
while adopting Jewish doctrine. He confesses that Christ is the Word but 
does not believe that he is; and he is not ashamed to make a parade of 
himself in many ways. 63 (7) But now that we have trampled his seeming 
doctrine, which is actually imposture, with the sandal of Christ, and have 
scratched the victims of his bites with the healing scalpel of the Gospel 
and drawn the poison out of them, we shall go on to describe the rest, 
beloved, as I said. 

Against Manichaeans. * 1 46, but 66 of the series 

1,1 The Manichaeans < are > also called Acvanites after a veteran from Mes- 
opotamia named Acvas 2 who practiced the profession of the pernicious 
Mani at Eleutheropolis. (2) They began to preach to the world at that 
time, and brought a great evil on the world after the < sect > of Sabellius. 

63 Paul’s ostentatious behavior is described at Eus. H. E. 7.30.8-11; Epiphanius may be 
alluding to this passage. See also the Epistle of the Council of Antioch, 268 ad, translated 
at Loofs pp. 4-9. 

1 Epiphanius’ chief literary source for this sect is the Acta disputationis Archelai cum 
Manete. At 23,3 he mentions eight other anti-Manichaean works, of which he has very likely 
used Titus of Bostra’s Contra Manichaeum and possibly some others. 12,4, 21,4 and espe- 
cially 36,4 show that he and his acquaintances had personal contact with Manichaeans. 

2 For Zaco, one of Mani’s early disciples who died about 301 ad., see Asmussen p. 106 
(M 6, Parthian: MM III pp. 865-867) and pp. 31-32 (M 6, Parthian, MM III pp. 865-867, 
Cat. p. 2); Fihrist al-‘Ulum at Flugel, Mani p. 104. However, Acvas might simply have been 
a local Manichean missionary at Eleutheropolis. 



For they arose in the time of the emperor Aurelian, about the fourth year 
of his reign 3 (3) This sect is widely reported and is talked of in many parts 
of the world, and as I said, owes its worldwide spread to a man named 

1,4 Mani was from Persia, and was originally named Cubricus. But 
he changed his name to Mani (Mdvv]) 4 to call himself mad, I suspect by 
God’s providence. (5) And as he thought, he was calling himself “vessel,” 
in Babylonian 5 if you please; “vessel” (ftdvv]) translated from Babylonian to 
Greek, suggests the name. But as the truth shows, he was named for the 
madness which caused the wretch to propagate his heresy in the world. 

1,6 Cubricus was the slave of a widow who had died childless and left 
him an incalculable wealth of gold, silver, spices and other goods. (7) She 
herself had inherited the property from a Terbinthus who had also been 
a slave, whose name had been changed to “Buddha,” 6 in Assyrian. And 
Terbinthus himself had been the slave of a Scythianus, 7 who was a Saracen 
but had been brought up on the borders of Palestine, that is, in Arabia. 

1,8 Scythianus had been taught the language and literature of the 
Greeks there, and had become proficient in their futile worldly doctrines. 
(9) But he made continual business trips to India, and did a great deal of 
trading. And so he acquired worldly goods 8 and as he traveled through the 
Thebaid 9 — there are various harbors on the Red Sea, (10) at the different 
gateways to the Roman realm. One of these is at Aelan — Aelon in sacred 

3 Epiphanius’ information comes from Eusebius by way of Jerome’s Chronicle, 223,25. 
Jerome dates Mani from the time of “Aurelian and Probus,” as do Act. Arch. 31,8; Cyr. Cat. 
6.20, and Epiphanius himself at 19,9; 20,3, 78,1. 

4 Cf. Act. Arch. 62-64; Cyr. Cat. 6.20-24. The scurrilous biography of Mani which fol- 
lows would have been an attempt to combat the Manichaean deification of him. Contrast 
Klimkeit p. 163 ( A Bema Liturgy, Persian and Parthian) “We would praise the God, Mani, 
the Lord! We honor thy great, bright glory, we bow down before thy Holy Spirit,” with 
Cyr. Cat. 6.6, which asks if anyone would wish to worship such a disreputable person, and 
Mani's life as described in CMC. 

5 Mani describes himself as “a man of Babylon” at Asmussen pp. 8-9 (M 4,2 V, Parthian: 
HR II, pp. 51-52); M 566 I, Parthian: HR II, p. 87. 

6 Cf. Act. Arch. 63.2; Cyr. Cat. 6.23. “Buddha” is named with Zoroaster and Jesus as one 
of the three apostles who preceded Mani, Keph. 7,34; 12,15 et al. 

7 Cf. Act Arch. 62.2-7; Cyr. Cat. 6.22. 

8 Manichaean writings often use the metaphor of a merchant with a wealth of goods. 
E.g., Keph. 11,18-20, “like a merchant who comes from [a country] with the doubling of his 
large cargo and the wealth of his goods.” 

9 With Holl, Drexl we leave the clause before the parenthesis incomplete. Oehler, 
Dummer punctuate after auTov, giving better grammar but a rather un-Epiphanian 



scripture. It was perhaps there that Solomon’s ship arrived every three 
years, bringing gold, elephant’s tusks, spices, peacocks and the rest, (n) 
Another harbor is at Castrum in Clysma, and another is the northernmost, 
at a place called Bernice. Goods are brought to the Thebaid by way of this 
port called Bernice, and the various kinds of merchandise from India are 
either distributed there in the Thebaid or to Alexandria by way of the river 
Chrysorroes — I mean the Nile, which is called Gihon in the scriptures — 
and to all of Egypt as far as Pelusium. (12) And this is how merchants 
from India who reach the other lands by sea make trading voyages to the 
Roman Empire. 

2,1 I have been at pains to convey this in full detail for your informa- 
tion, so that those who care to read this will not go uninformed even of 
the remote causes of every affair. For whoever embarks on a narrative 
must start it the best way he can, and introduce it from the very begin- 
ning. This is how the truth comes to light too, (2) and even though the 
speaker has no command of polished speech and elegant language the 
wise will still be told what they should be by the truthful account. 

2,3 To begin with, then, Scythianus was puffed up by his great wealth, 
and his possessions of spices and other goods from India. (4) And in trav- 
eling over the Thebaid to a town called Hypsele, he found a woman there 
who was extremely depraved though of evident beauty, and made a deep 
impression on his stupidity. Taking her from the brothel — she was a pros- 
titute — he grew fond of the woman and set her free, and she became his 
wife. 10 (5) After a long while, because of the extreme luxury in his posses- 
sion, nothing would do the sinner but that, like an idle person accustomed 
to evil by the extreme wantonness of his luxury, he must finally think of 
something new, in keeping with his taste, to offer the world. (6) And out of 
his own head he made up some such words as these — for he did not take 
them from the sacred scripture and the utterance of the Holy Spirit, but 
said, on the basis of wretched human reasoning, (7) “What is the reason 
for the inequalities * 11 throughout the visible vault of creation — black and 
white, flushed and pale, wet and dry, heaven and earth, night and day, soul 
and body, good and evil, righteous and unrighteous — unless, surely, these 

10 Cf. Act. Arch. 62.4. The story comes from the heresiologists’ account of Simon Magus, 
cf. Iren. 1.23.2; Epiph. Pan 21,22 et al. 

11 Klimkeit pp. 273-274 (Uighur Chuashtuanift): “If we... should have called him the 
origin and root of Light as well as Darkness, and of God as well as the Devil; If we should 
have said, ‘If anybody quickens, it is God that quickens; if anybody slays, it is God that 
slays . . 



things originate from two roots, or two principles?” 12 (8) But to employ 
him for further warfare against the human race, the devil spawned the 
horrid supposition in his mind that non-being does not know being. 13 This 
was meant to start a war in the minds of the dupes who believe that there 
is something more than ffim Who Is, and that all things are products of 
two roots, 14 as it were, or two principles. This [last] is the most impious 
and unsound idea of all. 

2,9 But I shall speak of this another time. Scythianus, whose mind was 
blind about these things, took his cue from Pythagoras 15 and held such 
beliefs, and composed four books of his own. 16 He called one the Book 
of the Mysteries 17 the second the Book of the Summaries, 18 the third the 
Gospel 19 and the fourth the Treasury. 20 (io) In them he contrasted and 
< exhibited* > the personae, in every respect perfectly balanced and evenly 
matched, < of the > two principles. Pathetically he supposed and imagined 
that he had made a great discovery about this. And he had indeed discov- 
ered a great evil, for himself and the people he misleads. 

3,1 Scythianus was busy with this, but had heard how the prophets and 
the Law spoke prophetically of the creation of the world, of the one, sover- 
eign, everlasting Father who will have no end, and of his Son and the Holy 
Spirit. (2) Since he lived in greater luxury [than they], made fun of them in 
his boorish mind, and was egged on by the haughty arrogance within him 
he chose to travel to Jerusalem, 21 about the apostles’ time, (3) and dispute 
there, if you please, with the preachers of < God’s > sovereignty and the 
[creation of] God’s creatures. 

3,4 On his arrival the unfortunate man began to challenge the elders 
there — who were living by the legislation which God had given to Moses 
and < confirmed* > by the inspired teaching of every prophet — (5) with, 

12 Cf. CMC 132,11-13, "I showed them the distinction between the two natures.” 

13 Cf. Tit. Bost. Man. 1.17, “That very writing from which we have produced the doc- 
trines of Manes says that (the powers of darkness) neither knew that God was living in 
the light . . .” 

14 Cf Keph. 35.34, “(The first Father) is the root of all the lights.” 

15 Scythianus’ teachings are identified as Pythagorean at Act. Arch. 62.3. 

16 Keph. 5,22-25, “I have written in my books of light; in the Great Gospel and the 
Treasury of Life, and the Pragmateia and the Book of the Mysteries, the scripture I have 
written for the Parthians, as well as all the Epistles, and the ‘Psalms and Praises.’ ” And cf. 
Act. Arch. 62.3; Cyr Cat 6.22. 

17 This is called “Mysteries of Wisdom” at Man. Horn. 43.17. 

18 The Kephalaia, rediscovered by Carl Schmidt in 1929. 

19 CMC 66,4-70,9 are a long excerpt from the Gospel. 

20 This is called the Treasury of Life at Keph. 230,20-22. 

21 Act. Arch. 62.7; Cyr. Cat 6.22. 



“How can you say that God is one, if he made night and day, flesh and 
soul, dry and wet, heaven and earth, darkness and light?” 22 (6) They gave 
him a plain explanation — the truth is no secret — but he was not ashamed 
to contradict them. And though he could not achieve his aim, he still 
behaved with stubborn shamelessness. 

3,7 But since he met with no success but was worsted instead, he pro- 
duced an illusion with the magic books he owned. (He was a sorcerer too, 
and had obtained the horrid, pernicious arts of magic from the heathen 
wisdom of the Indians and Egyptians.) (8) < For > he went up on a house- 
top and conjured, 23 but still achieved nothing — instead he fell off the roof 
and ended his life. 24 He had lived in Jerusalem for some years. 

3,9 He had had just one disciple with him, 25 the Terbinthus we men- 
tioned earlier. He had entrusted his possessions to this disciple, as to a 
very faithful servant who obeyed him with a good will. (10) When Scythi- 
anus died Terbinthus buried him with all kindness but once he had buried 
him planned not to return to the woman, the former harlot or captive who 
had been married to Scythianus. Instead he took all the property, the gold, 
the silver and the rest, (n) and fled to Persia. And to escape detection he 
changed his name as I have said, and called himself Buddha 26 instead of 

3,12 For his evil inheritance he in his turn obtained Scythianus’ four 
books and his implements of magic and conjuring — for he too was very 
well educated. (13) In Persia he lodged with an elderly widow and in his 
turn debated about the two principles with the attendants and priests of 
the idol of Mithra, with a prophet named Parcus, and with Labdacus, but 
< accomplished nothing* >. Since he could not even dispute with the pro- 
moters of idolatry but was refuted by them and disgraced, (14) he went up 
on the housetop with the same intention as Scythianus — to work magic, if 
you please, so that no one could answer his arguments. But he was pulled 

22 Cf. Keph. 267,13-18, "All ugly evils and defilements, archons and demons, witches and 
Satans have said that they come from God and that it is he who made them . . . they do not 
come from him, and they are bearing false witness against him.” 

23 At CMC 138,9-13 one of Mani’s opponents, the head of a synagogue, attempts to cast 
spells against Mani. 

24 Like Scythianus’ marriage, this detail is influenced by the Christian account of Simon 
Magus. Cf. Epiph. Pan. 21,5,2. 

25 Act. Arch. 63.4, “no disciple having joined him except an old woman”. 

26 Act. Arch. 63.1-2; Cyr. Cat. 6.22. 



down by an angel and fell, and so died from the same magic that he had 
intended to work. 27 

3,15 The old woman saw to his burial, and came into possession of his 
property. Having no children or relatives, she remained alone for a long 
while. (16) But later she purchased Cubricus, or Mani, to wait on her. And 
when she died 28 she left the evil inheritance to him, like poison left by an 
asp, for the ruin and destruction of many. 

4,1 In his turn Cubricus, who had taken the name Mani, lived in the 
same place and conducted discussions there. And no one believed him; 
everyone who heard Mani’s teaching was annoyed, and rejected it for its 
novelty, shocking stories, and empty imposture. 29 (2) Seeing the defeat of 
his own mischievous formularies, the feather-brain looked for some way 
of proving the truth of this dreadful fabrication of his. 30 

4,3 It was rumored that the son of the king of Persia had fallen victim 
to some disease and was confined to his bed in the capital city of Persia — 
Mani did not live there, but in another place, a long way from the capital. 
(4) Blinded by his own wickedness, and thinking that he might be able 
to perform cures on the king’s son from the books he had acquired of 
Scythianus’ successor, his own master Terbinthus or Buddha, Mani left 
his place of residence and ventured to introduce himself, claiming that 
he could be of service. 31 

4,5 But though he administered various drugs to the king’s ailing child, 
his expectation was disappointed. The boy finally died under his ministra- 
tions, to the confusion of all empty claims falsely made. 32 (6) After this 
outcome, Mani was imprisoned by royal decree. 33 (7) (The kings of Persia 
do not execute persons guilty of major crimes at once; they find ways 

27 Act. Arch. 63.4-6. 

28 Act. Arch. 63.1-4; Cyr. Cat. 6.24. 

29 CMC 87,6-90,7 chronicles sharp hostility to Mani's teachings on the part of the "bap- 
tists” with whom he broke. Keph. 186,25-187,25 tells of a series of rejections of Mani in 
various lands. 

30 At CMC 36,13-21 Mani prays, “[And] further, that the church may grow, I [beg of thee 
all the] power of [the signs], that I may perform [them] by my hands, [in] every [place, 
and all villages] and towns.” 

31 At CMC 121,11-123,13 Mani heals a sick girl. Cf. Asmussen p. 9 (M 566 1 , Parthian: HR II, 
p. 87) where he performs what appears to be the same healing before the king of Persia. 

32 At Asmussen p. 54 (M 3, Middle Persian, W. B. Henning, “Mani’s Last Journey,” 
BSOAS 10, 1942, pp. 949-952) Bahram I accuses Mani, “But perhaps you are needed for 
this doctoring and this physicking? And you don’t even do that!” 

33 At Man. Horn. 48,19-25 Mani is loaded with chains and threatened. Man. Ps. 18, so- 
igne says that the imprisonment lasted 26 days. 



of inflicting a further sentence of death, by torture, on those who are 
[already] faced with that threat.) 34 And so much for that. 

5,1 Thus Mani, or Cubricus, remained < in > conhnement, visited by 
his own disciples. (2) For by now the scum had gathered a band, as it 
were, already about twenty-two, 35 whom he called disciples. (3) He chose 
three 36 of these, one named Thomas, 37 and Hermeias, and Addas, 38 with 
the intention < of sending them to Judaea* >. 39 For he had heard of the 
sacred books to be found in Judaea and the world over — I mean < the > 
Christian books, the Law and Prophets, the Gospels, and the Apostles. 

5,4 Giving his disciples money, he sent them to Jerusalem. (5) (But he 
had done this before his imprisonment, when he found himself unable 
to sustain his doctrine in discussion with many. (6) Having heard of the 
name of Christ, and of his disciples, I mean the Christians, he had deter- 
mined to deceive his dupes with the name of the Christian religion.) 

5,7 They went off and purchased the books, for they made no delay. 
But when, on their return, they found Mani no longer at liberty but in the 
prison, they entered even that and showed him the books. (8) He took and 
examined them, and fraudulently combined his own falsehood with the 
truth wherever he found the form of a word, or a name, which could show 
a resemblance to this doctrine. In this way he finally provided confirma- 
tion for the sham of his sect. 

5,9 In the meantime, however, he escaped by importuning his jailer 
and bribing him heavily, 40 and he left Persia, and arrived at the Roman 
realm. (10) But when he reached the border between Mesopotamia and 
Persia 41 and was still in the desert, he heard of an eminent man named 
Marcellus 42 who was famous for piety of the finest sort and lived in the 

34 At CMC 100,1-12 Mani is beaten, though by the “baptists” rather than the king. 

35 Act. Arch. 64.4 mentions only the three named at Pan. 66,5,3; Aug. Haer. 46.8 gives 
Mani twelve disciples. The number 22 may come from Act. Arch. 14.2, where Mani brings 
22 disciples to Marcellus’ home. 

36 CMC 106,7-23 gives Mani three original disciples, named Simeon, Abizachaeus and 
Patticius. Cf. Cyr. Cat. 6.31. 

37 A division of the Manichaean Psalms, Allberry pp. 203-227, are the “Psalms of 

38 Man. Ps. 235,13-14, (Allberry p. 34) “Glory to Addas, our [Lord]”; cf. CMC 165,6. 

39 Act. Arch. 65.2-4; but there Mani sends for the books from prison. 

40 Cf. Act. Arch. 65.7, where Mani escapes in obedience to a dream; Cyr. Cat. 6.26-27 
mentions his escape without giving details. 

41 At CMC 140,11-14 Mani and Patticius come to Pharat; CMC 144,4 says, “a town in 
Pharat named Og[ ? ].” 

42 Act. Arch. 1.1-3; 3.5-7. Cf. CMC 144,4, “In Pharat (in the town?) named Og, (there 
was) a man famous for his [power] and authority.” 



Mesopotamian city of Caschar. 43 Marcellus was a thoroughgoing Chris- 
tian and remarkable for his righteous works, and supplied the needs of 
widows, the poor, orphans and the destitute. 

5,11 It was Mani’s intent to attach himself to Marcellus, to gain control 
of him and be able not only to rule Mesopotamia through him, but the 
whole region adjacent to Syria and the Roman Empire. (12) But he sent 
him a letter 44 from the boundary of the river Stranga, from a place called 
Fort Arabio, by Turbo, one of his disciples, and this is what it said. Read 
it, and have a look at the instrument of the fraud’s wickedness! 45 

6.1 Mani, an apostle of Jesus Christ , 46 and all the saints and virgins who 
are with me, to my beloved son, Marcellus: Grace, mercy, peace from God 
the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. And the Light’s right hand preserve 
you from the present evil age and its mischances, and the snares of the evil 
one. Amen. 

6.2 L am overjoyed to hear that your love is very great, but grieved that 
your faith is not in accord with the right reason. (3) L therefore feel Impelled 
to send you this letter, since L am sent for the correction of the human race, 
and care for those who have given themselves over to imposture and error. 
(4) [L write], first for the salvation of your own soul, and then for the salvation 
of those who are with you, so that you may not have an undiscerning mind, 
as the guides of the simple teach, who say that good and evil are brought by 
the same [God], and introduce a single first principle. (5) As l have said, they 
neither distinguish nor differentiate darkness from light, good from wicked 
and evil 41 and the outer man from the Inner, but never cease to confuse and 
confound the one with the other. 

6,6 But do you, my son, not combine the two as most men do, absurdly and 
foolishly in any chance way, and ascribe them both to the God of goodness . 48 
For those “whose end is nigh unto cursing ” 49 trace the beginning, end and 

43 Kaskar (variously spelled) is sometimes called a city by the Arab geographers, and 
sometimes a district. It was under Persian, not Roman rule. See Flugel, Mani, pp. 20-25. 

44 An Epistle to Kaskar is mentioned in a list of Manichaean Epistles, Fihrist al-’Ulum, 
Flugel, p. 103, Item 6. 

45 This letter is quoted from Act. Arch. 5. 

46 At CMC 66,4-7 Mani begins his Gospel, “I Manichaeus, apostle of Jesus Christ by 
the will of Cod the Father of truth from whom I spring.” “Apostle” is his regular title in 
Manichaean literature. 

47 Keph. 191,1-3, “Fie shall believe, and call on him and the physician whom I have 
brought, and distinguish light from darkness, good from evil.” 

48 Cf. Man. Ps. 248,3-6, (Allberry p. 57) “If it was God who created the evil and the 
good and Christ and Satan . . . then who sent Jesus, that he might work among the Jews 
until they slew him?” 

49 Cf. Heb. 6:8. 



father of these evils to God. (7) Neither do they believe what is said in the 
Gospels by our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ himself “A good tree cannot 
bring forth evil fruit, nor, assuredly, can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. ” 50 
(8) And how they dare to say that God is the maker and artificer of Satan 
and his ills, is amazing to me. 

6,9 And would that their vain effort stopped with this, and they did not 
say that the Only-begotten, the Christ who has descended from the bosom of 
the Father, was the son of a woman, Mary, born of blood and flesh and wom- 
en’s ill-smelling effluent ! 51 (10) And since I have no native eloquence I shall 
rest content with this, not to abuse your forbearance by writing at length, for 
a considerable time, in this letter. (11) You shall know the whole when I come 
to you — if, indeed, you are still tender of your salvation. For I put a noose 
on no one, in the manner of the senseless [teachers] of the multitude. “Mark 
what I say, ” 52 most honored son! 

7,1 The most distinguished, godfearing and eminent Marcellus was 
surprised and shocked when he read this letter. For as it happened, the 
bishop of the town, Archelaus, was in his home with him the day the ser- 
vant of God received Mani’s letter. (2) When Archelaus found what the 
matter was and had read the letter, he gnashed his teeth like a roaring lion 
and with godly zeal made as to rush off to where Mani was and arrest him 
for a foreigner come from the barbarians, from whom he was hastening 
to destroy the human race. 

7,3 But Marcellus in his wisdom begged the bishop to calm down, but 
told Turbo to terminate his [return] journey to Mani, [who was] at Fort 
Arabio, where he would be awaiting Turbo. (This fortress is on the border 
between Persia and Mesopotamia.) (4) Marcellus declined to go to Mani, 
and not to compel Turbo to do so sent one of his own runners, and wrote 
Mani the following letter. 

50 Matt 7:18. At Keph. 17,2-9 this text is used to introduce the teaching of the two con- 
trasting realms, though the verse quoted there is Luke 6:43-44. Cf. Act Arch. 15.6; Aug. 
Adim. 26; Fel. 2.2; Theodoret Haer. Fab. 1.26. 

51 Man. Ps. 254,23-26, (Allberry p. 52) “He was not born in a womb corrupted; not even 
the mighty were counted worthy of him for him to dwell beneath their roof, that he should 
be confined in a womb of a woman of low degree.” 

52 2 Tim 2:7. 



Marcellus’ Letter to Mani 53 

7,5 Greetings from the distinguished, personage, Marcellus, to Manichaeus, 
who is made known by the letter. I have accepted the letter you have writ- 
ten, and of my kindness extended hospitality to Turbo. But I have no way of 
understanding the sense of your letter unless you come, as you promise in 
your letter, and explain each point in detail. Farewell. 

8.1 When Mani learned of this he thought that the absence of the 
detained Turbo boded no good. (To confirm his own notion, Mani often 
deceived even himself by drawing wrong conclusions). All the same, he 
took the letter as an occasion for hurrying to Marcellus. 

8.2 Now as well as being intelligent the bishop Archelaus had a zeal for 
the faith. His advice was to have Mani executed at once, if possible — as 
though he had trapped a leopard or wolf, or some other wild beast — so 
that the flock would not be harmed by the onslaught of such a predator. 
(3) But Marcellus asked for the < exercise > of patience, and that there 
be a restrained discussion between Archelaus and Mani. (4) Archelaus, 
however, < had > by now learned the whole essence of Mani’s opinion, for 
Turbo had told them — him and Marcellus — all of the sect’s nonsense. 

8.5 Mani teaches that there are two first principles without beginnings, 
which are eternal and never cease to be, and are opposed to each other. 
He names one light and good, but the other, darkness and evil, which 
makes them God and the devil. 54 But sometimes he calls them both gods, 
a good god and an evil god 55 

8.6 All things stem and originate from these two principles. The one 
principle makes all good things; the other, likewise, the evil things. In the 
world the substances of these two principles are mixed together, 56 and 

53 7.5 to 8,3 is quoted, in slightly expanded form, from Act. Arch. 14. 

54 Asmussen p. 73 (Chuashtuanift VIII A), “(Ever) since we have recognized the true 
God (and) the pure sacred doctrine, we know ‘the two principles’ (roots, origins). We know 
the light principle, the realm of God, and we know the dark principle, the realm of Hell.” 

55 This does not occur in any published Manichaean writing. Uighur Chuashtuanift 
VIIA (Asmussen p. 72) “And if one should ever ask, ‘Who comes to the road that seduces, 
to the beginning of the two poison roads (and) to the gate of Hell,’ (then) it is . . . the one 
who worships the devil and addresses him as God,” perhaps suggests that some Manichae- 
ans were guilty of this. Contrast Aug. Faust 21.1, “It is indeed (true) that we acknowledge 
two first principles, but we call (only) one of these God, and the other matter, or, if I may 
use the common parlance, the demon.” 

56 Keph. 131.16-17, “They were cast in a mixture with each other, the light with the 
darkness and the darkness with the light.” In NHC, light is mixed with darkness at Apocry. 
Jn. 25,4. 



the one principle has made the body, while the soul belongs to the other. 
(7) The soul in human beings, and the soul in every beast, bird, reptile 
and bug is the same; and not only this, but Mani claims that the living 
moisture in plants is a movement of the soul which he says is in human 
beings. 57 

9,r But he teaches as much other mythology when he says that who- 
ever eats meat eats a soul, and is liable to the punishment of becoming 
the same himself 58 — (2) becoming a pig in his own turn if he ate a pig, 
or a bull, or bird, or any edible creature. Manichaeans therefore do not 
eat meat. And if one plants a hg tree, an olive, a grapevine, a sycamore, 
or a persea, his soul at his own death is entangled in the branches of the 
trees he planted and unable to get by them. 59 (3) And if one marries a 
woman, he says, he is embodied again after his departure and becomes 
a woman himself, so that he may be married. (4) And if someone killed 
a man his soul is returned to the body of a leper after departing the body, 
or a mouse or snake 60 or else will in his own turn become something of 
the kind that he killed. 

9,5 Again, he claimed that since it desires < to draw up > the soul which 
is dispersed in all things, God’s heavenly wisdom 61 — (6) (for he and his 
Manichaean followers say that the soul is a part of God and has been 
dragged away from him and < is held > as the prisoner 62 of the archons 63 
of the opposing principle and root. < And > it has been cast down into 
bodies in this way, because it is the food of the archons who have seized 

57 Man. Ps. 246,25-30, (Allberry p. 54) “I am in everything. I bear the skies, I am the 
foundation, I support the earths, I am the light that shines forth, that gives joy to the souls. 
I am the life of the world. I am the milk that is in all trees: I am the sweet water that is 
beneath the sons of Matter.” 

58 Asmussen p. 72 (Uighur Chuashtuanift VC), “If we ever, my God, somehow . . . should 
have killed (living beings) (then) we to the same degree owe life to living beings.” 

59 A Manichaean confession of sin translated by Henning, in “Ein Manichaisches Bet- 
und Beichtbuch,” Turk. Turf. VIII, APAW 1936, No. 10, p. 142, reads” ... in grosser Unziichtig- 
keit Baume abzuhauen oder zu pflanzen (scheue ich mich nicht), am Fruhlingsmorgen der 
Baume Sprossen und (iiberhaupt) der Elemente Notlage beachten (bedenke) ich nicht; 
mit dem Leibe erstreben wir (ja alle) zu pflanzen und zu saen, einen Garten oder ein 

60 Klimkeit p. 174 (Confessional text for the elect, Sogdian with Persian citations), “why 
was I not (reborn) in the class of pigs, dogs or yakshas?" 

61 Cf. Tit Bost. Man. 1.17. 

62 Keph. 29,18-20 “The first hunter is the king of the realm of darkness, who hunted the 
living soul with his net at the beginning of the worlds.” 

63 Keph. 50,22, “archons, the enemies of the light." 



it and < eaten it as* > a source of strength for themselves, 64 and parceled 
it out among bodies.) (7) And therefore, he says, this wisdom has set 
these luminaries, the sun, moon and stars 65 in the sky, and has made a 
mechanical contrivance through what the Greeks call the twelve signs of 
the zodiac. 66 

9,8 ffe affirms that these signs draw the souls of dying men and other 
living things upwards, because they shine. But they are carried to the 
ship — Mani says that the sun and moon are ships 67 And the smaller ship 
loads for fifteen days, till the full moon. And so it carries them across, and 
on the fifteenth day stows them in the larger ship, the sun. 68 (g) And the 
sun, the larger ship, ferries them over to the aeon of light and the land of 
the blessed. 69 

9,10 And thus the souls which have been ferried over by the sun and 
moon < are saved* >. For of those who < have become > acquainted with 
his vulgar chatter, he says that they have been purified and deemed wor- 
thy of this mythical crossing of his. And again, he says that a soul can- 
not be saved unless it < shares > the same knowledge. And there is much 
sound and fury in this fabrication. 

Now these were Mani’s teachings, and Archelaus had been made famil- 
iar with < them by Turbo >, and because of his extensive knowledge of 
God and his advance < information > was fully prepared for the debate. 
For he had obtained precise knowledge of all of Mani’s charlatanry from 
Turbo. And lo and behold, here came Mani, with his companions! 

< Marcellus and Archelaus > came then and there to a public debate in 
Caschar. They had previously chosen a man named Marsipus, and Clau- 
dius, and Aegeleus and Cleobulus as judges of their disputation. One was 
a pagan philosopher, one a professor of medicine, another a professional 

64 Klimkeit p. 172 ( Confessional Text for the Elect, Sogdian with Persian citations), “For 
the (demon of) Greed... that has formed this body . . . constandy provokes contention 
through these five ‘gates.’ (Through them) it brings the internal demons together with the 
external ones, in the courses of which a small part (of the soul) is destroyed day by day.” 

65 Keph. 168,1-2 sharply distinguishes between the “five stars” (planets) which are evil, 
and the sun and moon which rule over the planets and “oppress” them. 

66 At Klimkeit p. 306 ( Apocryphal Words of the Historicaljesus), unsatisfactory catechu- 
mens ascend to the zodiac and descend again to be reborn. 

67 Klimkeit p. 68 (A hymn to the Third Messenger, Parthian) “Full of joy are the divine 
abodes, the noble ships, the ferries that are created by the word.” 

68 Man. Ps. 267,7-9, (Allberry p. 85) “. . . now in thy gifts of light . . . from ship to ship 
unto the Envoy in whom . . . who will ferry me across in . . .” 

69 Keph. 158, 31-32, “(The greater luminary) is the gate of light and the vehicle of peace 
to this great aeon of light.” 



teacher of grammar, and the other a sophist. (3) And after many words on 
both sides, with Mani advancing his fabricated teachings and Archelaus, 
like the bravest of soldiers, destroying the enemy’s weapons by his own 
strength, and when Mani was finally beaten and the judges had awarded 
the prize to the truth — (4) that was no surprise. The truth is self-authenti- 
cating and cannot be overthrown even if wickedness shamelessly opposes 
the precept of the truth. For like the shadow of darkness, like the slippery 
footing of a snake’s onset, like the snake’s lack of support without feet, 
falsehood has no ground or foundation. 

11,1 And then Mani escaped, 70 though the people would have stoned 
him if Marcellus had not come forward and shamed the mob with his 
venerable presence — otherwise, if he had stayed, the miserable dead 
man would have died a long time earlier. Mani withdrew and came to a 
village < in the neighborhood* > of Caschar called Diodoris, 71 (2) where 
the people’s presbyter at the time was a very mild man named Trypho. 72 
Mani lodged with Trypho and confused him in turn with his boasts, for 
he realized that Trypho, while a good man in other respects and a marvel 
of piety, was lacking in eloquence. (3) Even here, however, he was not 
able to mock Christ’s servant as he had supposed he could. God’s way is 
to prepare the gifts of the Spirit and supply them to those who hope in 
him, as the One who never lies has promised, “Take no thought what ye 
shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of my Father which 
speaketh in you.” 73 

11,4 And so Mani chose to debate once more, with the presbyter Try- 
pho. Trypho answered him at many points and wrote to Archelaus about 
this matter, (5) “A man has come here like a fierce wolf and is trying to 
destroy the fold. I beg you to send me instructions on how to deal with 
him or in what terms I should reply to his heresy. And if you should see 
fit to come yourself, you would relieve the minds of Christ’s fold, and his 
sheep.” Archelaus sent him two books < for > the ready understanding of 
Mani, and told him to expect him in person. 

11,6 At early morning Mani came into the middle of the village, pre- 
tending to challenge Trypho to debate as a colleague. And after Trypho 
had made his appearance, (7) and with his God-given understanding had 

70 Cf. Act. Arch. 43.1-2, Cyr. Cat. 6.30. 

71 Holl: dp xcopjv uva T»j? KcAyapto TtepiolxiSop AioScopiSa xakouptevvjv; 
xaXyctpcov sip AioSupiSa xaXoupEvvjv. 

72 At Act. Arch. 43.4 both the presbyter and the village are named Diodorus. 

73 Matt 10:19-20. 



answered Mani’s questions point by point to the fraud’s discomfiture — 
[though] somewhat softly where he felt doubtful — Archelaus turned up 
like a powerful householder protecting his property, confidently attacked 
the would-be plunderer, and took him to task. 

11,8 As soon as Mani saw Archelaus he said, with fawning hypocrisy, 
“Allow me to debate with Trypho. Since < you are > a bishop, you out- 
rank me.” (g) But together with the repudiation of that remark Archelaus 
silenced Mani by exposing him as an [even] greater hypocrite, and again 
put him to shame by answering his arguments, so that he could say noth- 
ing further. And the people once more grew angry and tried to lay hands 
on the offender. He, however, escaped the mob and < returned* > once 
more to Fort Arabio. 

12,1 And then, when the king of Persia learned of Mani’s hideout, he 
sent and arrested him in the fortress. He dragged him ignominiously back 
to Persia and punished him by ordering that he be hayed with a reed. 74 
(2) They still have his skin in Persia, hayed with a reed and stuffed with 
straw. 75 And this is how he died; Manichaeans themselves sleep on reed 
mattresses for this reason. 

12,3 After he had died like that and had left his disciples whom we 
have mentioned, Addas, Thomas and Hermeias — he had sent them > out 
before he was punished as we described — (4) Hermeias went > to Egypt. 
Many < of us* > met him. For the sect is not an ancient one, and the peo- 
ple who had met this Hermeias, Mani’s disciple, described him to me. 
(5) Addas, however, went north 76 and Thomas to Judaea, and the doctrine 
has gained in strength to this day by their efforts. (6) Mani, however, said 
that he was the Paraclete Spirit, 77 and calls himself an apostle of Christ 

74 This appears only in anti-Manichaean sources, e.g., Theodore Bar Khoni (Pognon 
p. 184); Cyr. Cat. 6.30. Manichaean sources most often say that Mani was crucified, Man. 
Horn. 44,17-20; 45,9; 71,15; Man. Ps. 226,19-231 (Allberry p.19) etc. Some say that Mani died 
in prison, cf. Asmussen p. 57 (M 5, Parthian: MM III: 863-865) “On the fourth of the month 
of Shahrevar, on the Monday and at the eleventh hour, when he had prayed, he shed the 
wonted garment of the body.” 

75 This is scurrilous, but Manichaean sources say that Mani’s head was cut off and 
exhibited to the populace, e.g. at Man. Ps. 19,29-31. 

76 Perhaps cf. Asmussen p. 21 (M 216b, Parthian: MM II p. 301, n. 2 and p. 302, n. 3), 
“When the apostle was [in] Veh Ardashir (Seleuceia, on the west bank of the Tigris) then 
he sent the Teacher, Addas the Bishop . . . [and] other scribes to Byzans . . .” At p. 300 Addas 
goes to the east. 

77 Keph. 14,31-15,24, “In this year, the year in which Ardashir the king [was ready? to 
receive] the crown, the living Paraclete descended to me, spoke with me, and revealed to 
me the hidden mystery ... In this way all that has come to pass and will come to pass was 



on some occasions, and the Paraclete Spirit on others. And there is a great 
variation of the heresies in his blindness. 

13.1 Now at length, beloved, I need to say < something > about the sect 
and its nonsense; all that precedes, I have described for your information. 

(2) Now then, the savage Mani begins his teaching, speaking and writ- 
ing in his work on faith. (3) For he issued various books, one composed 
of < twenty-two sections* > to match < the > twenty-two letters of the 
Syriac alphabet. 78 (4) (Most Persians use the Syrian letters besides < the > 
Persian, just as, with us, many nations use the Greek letters even though 
nearly every nation has its own. (5) But others pride themselves on the 
oldest dialect of Syriac, if you please, and the Palmyrene — it and its let- 
ters. But there are twenty-two of them, and the book is thus divided into 
twenty-two sections.) 

13,6 He calls this book the Mysteries ofManickaeus, and another one the 
Treasury. And he makes a show of other books he has stitched together, 
the Lesser Treasury, as one is called, and another on astrology. (7) Mani- 
chaeans have no shortage of this sort of jugglery; they have astrology for a 
handy subject of boasting, and phylacteries — I mean amulets — and cer- 
tain other incantations and spells. 

This is how Mani begins his book: 

14.1 There were God and matter, Light and darkness, good and evil, all in 
direct opposition to each other, so that neither side has anything in common 
with the other . 79 And this is the scum’s prologue; (2) he begins his mischief 
there. And broadly speaking, that is the book, which contains certain bad 
propositions of this sort, the difficulty of which, and the contradiction at 
the very outset between the words and their aim, must be understood. 

(3) For even though the rest of his nonsense and fabricated religion is 
extensive, the whole of his wickedness will be shown by its introduction. 

For the words, “There were God and matter,” taught nothing less than 
the futile speculation of the Greeks. (4) But it is easy to detect, understand 
and refute this valueless sophistical notion. < It is plain* > to anyone with 
good judgment that the conclusion that there are two contemporaneous 

revealed to me by the Paraclete ... all that the eye beholds, the ear hears, and the thought 
considers ... I knew all and saw all, and became one body and one spirit . . .” 

78 Holl: TtOV X.OLTOL TV]V TUV EupCOV OTOlXsicOCTlV <EX x( 3 ' TO[XCOV> CnjyXEipEVVp; MSS: TUV xara 
tv]v Eupcov cttoixeIwcuv 81' oA<f>a| 3 y)Tou cruyxEipEvvp. Other suggestions for emendation are 
found in Holl. 

79 Tit. Bost. Man. 1.5 gives this as a summary of Mani’s teaching. A variation of it is 
found at Aug. Ep. Fund. 13. 



eternals cannot be reached by correct reasoning and well-intended intel- 
ligence. And anyone with sense must find this out. (5) If the two [eter- 
nals] are contemporaneous they cannot be different, even in name. For 
anything that is contemporaneous [with one of them] is also co-eternal. 
But this co-eternal and ever existent thing is God, particularly as he has 
no cause. For nothing is eternal but God alone. 

14,6 But with your barbarous mind and enmity toward the human 
race you have referred to these principles by different names. You have 
spoken of one as “light,” but the other as “darkness,” and again, of the 
one as “good” and the other as “evil.” But you claim that they are in total 
opposition in every respect, so that neither has anything in common with 
the other. You separate them, then; for it is plain that they are opposites, 
as you have said. (7) (If they are partners, however, the partners will be 
found to be friendly and in agreement, because they live together in fel- 
lowship and from their profound affection never leave one another.) 80 

14,8 However, if [Mani’s first principles] are separate from each other, 
each of them is surely bounded. But nothing that is bounded is perfect; it 
is limited by its boundedness, (g) Besides, a boundary will be needed for 
the delimitation of both, or both territories will touch at the ends, be in 
contact with each other through the ends, have something in common, 
and violate the rule of their opposition. 81 And if you grant that there is a 
divider between the two, (10) the divider cannot be like them, but neither 
can it be different from both. (11) For if the divider can be called com- 
parable to one of the two eternals we mentioned [even] in one part of 
it, then, because of the comparable part, the divider cannot be different 
from [the eternal]. Instead it will be connected with the one with which 
it is comparable, there will be a junction at the part that matches, and 
[the divider] will no longer be bounded where it parts the two substances 
from each other 82 

14,12 If, however, it is not like the two and has no share of a part of 
either, there cannot be two eternals and everlastings; there must, in the 
last analysis, be three. And there can no longer be two principles, and two 
primordials opposed to each other. There must be another, third thing, 
which is opposed to both and unlike both, and which divides the two and, 
because of its foreignness to them, has nothing in common with either 

80 Epiphanius may here be influenced by Tit. Bost. Man. 1.5. 

81 The thought and wording here are close to that of Tit. Bost. Man. 1.7. 

82 Cf. Serap. Thm. 32.13-17. 



and no likeness to either. 83 And in the end there are no longer two, but 
these three. 84 

14,13 And besides, another will also be required, a fourth, to mediate 
and set this boundary. For the two could not set the boundary or partition 
without another to be the umpire who put the divider between them — a 
skillful, wise and fair umpire, what is more, with higher rank [than either] 
so that he can persuade them both to a peaceable reconciliation. (14) 
Thus there will be one to set the boundary, one to divide, and two to be 
bounded, and there cannot be only two first principles; there must even 
be three and four. And in this way one can think of many first principles, 
ignoring real things and imagining unreal ones. 

15.1 In the offender’s effort not to allow evil, of all things, to touch God — 
in fact, to ascribe < evil > to God is an absurdity. In the standard form of 
the church’s teaching it is agreed that the Godhead has nothing to do with 
evil and no admixture of it. (2) For God made nothing evil; he made “all 
things very good,” 85 since God is by nature good and of an incomprehen- 
sible essence, and contains all things but is himself contained by none. 
Evil, therefore, did not always exist, nor was evil made by God. 

r5,3 Since evil does not always exist, then, and was not made by God, it 
remains to examine the nature of this thing that does not always exist but 
has a beginning, and that is coming to its end and perishing, and has no 
permanence — < and > how it began. (4) And in examining this we must 
first consider the sort of thing that evil is and the sort of thing in which 
evil arises, and whether it is an object or, as it were, has a body or sub- 
stance, or whether it can even have a root. (5) And when we think this 
through we shall find that evil is without substance and has no root, but 
is limited to the deeds of human activity at work. (6) While we are doing 
it, evil exists; while we are not doing it, it does not. ft is our good judg- 
ment that discovers what it means to do evil — to do the thing that does 
not please God, and can neither contradict God nor resist the Godhead. 
For when anything can be rooted out and destroyed by men, all the more 
can it not hold out against God. 

16.1 At the same time we must understand that the devil was not made 
evil by nature at the creation but discovered evildoing for himself later, and 
not without the knowledge of what he would become. With all creatures 

83 Titus of Bostra argues at Man. 1.7 that Mani’s thesis requires at least three principles. 
Cf. Alex. Lycop. Man. 8. 

84 Cf. Tit. Bost. Man. 1.7; Alex. Lycop. Man. 8; Act. Arch. 24.7. 

85 Gen 1:31; with the argument in general, cf. Tit. Bost. Man. 2.1. 



he was created well, with the utmost serviceability because of superior 
righteousness. (2) For though God in his supreme goodness willed that all 
persons and creatures be < good >, and though he offered his good gifts 
to all, he still, by allowing the freedom to choose, permits all creatures to 
undertake whichever action each chooses by its own will. Thus God can- 
not be responsible for the evils, though there will be a separation of those 
who progress to virtue and win the rewards of goodness. 

16.3 But though this madman Mani (Mdvqq) means to exempt God 
from evil, he has instead set evil over against God on equal terms. (4) And 
at the same time, while he is abusing all creation, he is not ashamed to use 
our human errors as his excuse for interweaving < a mixture of the two* > 
evenly matched < principles* > with all created being. He has in fact 
become the champion and defender of the evil he claims to forbid. And 
when he grants its existence and declares its eternity, and that, together 
with God, it always is and never ceases to be, he is embracing a sort of 
fondness for evil and fellowship with it instead of a hatred toward it. 

16,5 And Mani’s departure from the truth can be detected from his use 
of certain terms for evil in every subject [he discusses]. For the goodness 
of God’s whole creation is proved by the texts Mani himself cites. (17,1) 
First of all he has called evil, “matter,” and holds matter to be corruption 
in the same sense [as evil] 86 And to begin with, if matter is corruption, 
what can it be the corruption of? If it is the corruption of other things, but 
matter itself is enduring, then matter would have destroyed everything 
long ago; and after putting its power into operation for so long without 
being extirpated, only it would exist. 

17,2 But if matter is the corruption of itself, and if it corrupts, assails, 
consumes and destroys itself, it is on its way to destruction and can- 
not endure, since it is the source of its own destruction and corrup- 
tion 87 (3) How could it have lasted for so long, as the scum claims, but at 
the same time have nothing at all to do with life, and not in fact < have a 
share > of life or goodness? 

17.4 But since there is also goodness in each of the creatures Mani 
abuses, his account of evil is altogether mistaken; each of the principles 
he speaks of has something in common with the other. (5) All that is has 

86 At Keph. 31,10, and often in the Kephalaia, matter is “the thought of death.”: Cf. Keph. 
31,15-16, where matter forms the body of “the king of darkness and smoke,” and 131,4-5 
“. . . from the time at which death, that is, matter, is eliminated . . .” 

87 A similar argument is used at Tit. Bost. Man. 1.11; cf. Serap. Thm. 79.21.1. 



been made for a purpose, but the things that Mani abuses by name con- 
tain the opposite of evil. Take snakes, for example and the other < poison- 
ous reptiles >. (6) The sources of deadly poison also contain 88 an antidote 
to do away with death and suffering. And the daytime is indeed for human 
labor, as well as for illumination and vision; but the night, which Mani 
disparages by name, 89 is also a rest which God has given to man. 90 (7) And 
so it is evident that each thing individually is good, and cannot be termed 
evil, or given a name synonymous with evil, because of our sins. 

18,1 For all things are good and pleasant, and nothing is rejected by the 
God < who says >, “And behold, all things are very good.” 91 And nowhere is 
there a root of evil. (2) This is why, when God was making the whole world 
by his goodness, he ascribed goodness to each of his creatures at the out- 
set, and said, “And God saw that it was good” 92 — testifying to its goodness 
and confounding the shrewdness of the plotters against mankind, who 
want to conceal the truth from men with their evil stories. (3) For God 
made heaven and earth, the light, and the things on the earth, on the first 
day, “And he saw, and behold it was good,” 93 says the scripture. (4) Didn’t 
he know he would make something good, then, since he says, “Behold, it 
is good,” after it was made? And so, in succession, of the waters, the sea, 
vegetation, trees, the heavenly luminaries, cattle, birds, reptiles and fish. 
(5) For scripture said, “And God saw, and behold, it was good,” in every 
case — but not because God did not know this beforehand or because 
he < learned > it after the thing was made, as though he had acquired 
his knowledge of its goodness by experience. Because of the opinion of 
the injudicious he declared in advance that all things are good, and that 
evil has no existence anywhere. (6) Since all things are good, and since 
their goodness is attested by the absolutely true testimony of the Good, 
< the > Privation of all that is evil and of all wickedness said, “Behold, it is 
good”, for the refutation of men’s whole artificial opinion of evil, and the 
demolition of the entire notion of those who introduce this mischievous 

88 Holl: xod xaxcoasui; <£vpiaxerai>; MSS: xod xaxuusus xaxi&piivcov. 

89 Keph. 161,20-25, “The night reveals the sign of the darkness of its father, from whose 
essence it comes. For the night came from the first darkness and appeared in the world. 
Look at the night, the shadow of the first darkness which is made fast and bound in all 
things above and below.” And see the entire passage, Keph. 160,18-161,25. 

90 Cf. Tit. Bost. Man. 2.18. 

91 Gen 1:31. 

92 Gen 1:4; 10; 12; 18; 21; 25. 

93 Gen 1:4. 



18,7 Then, when he came to man, God did not say that man is “good,” 
and did not say that man is “bad.” And yet man is the most excellent of 
all earthly creatures, created by God, with his ineffable wisdom, to rule 
the world — and God would give him dominion over all his creatures as 
he says, (8) “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let 
them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl of the air, 
and over the creeping things of the earth, and cattle and beasts, and over 
all that is on the earth.” 94 (g) Since man had been made in God’s image, 
holy writ was content with such a great dignity, which needed no further 
addition. (10) For if man possessed the image of Goodness itself at his 
creation — I mean the image of the Lord God, the artificer, and good arti- 
ficer, of all creatures, the wellspring of all goodness and the source of the 
good in all — why would man need the further testimony of “Behold, it is 
good?” He had received the image of the Good himself. 

18,11 But later at the end of the whole account, after the making of all of 
God’s handiwork, the word of God, in conclusion, bore the same witness 
for all and said, (12) “And God saw all that he had made, and behold, it 
was very good,” 95 adding the word, “very.” This was the sixth day, and the 
seventh day of rest. The point was to remove the root of [Mani’s] < opin- 
ion > of evil, so that never again would anyone find an excuse for daring 
to believe that evil is eternal. (13) For this same account of evil had been 
demolished. There was no evil anywhere, for all things were very good, 
and had been made and witnessed to by a good God. 

19,1 “Matter” can mean two things. On the one hand, in the offender’s 
sense of the word, it is the name of an activity, as I said, and a consuming 
corruption. But we ordinarily say “matter” of the material < consumed* > 
by craftsmen in the production of every article — wooden matter, for exam- 
ple, ceramic matter, the matter of gold, the matter of silver. The result 
of the bodily process which is caused by the decomposition of food 96 is 
also called “matter.” All right, let’s have the newly arrived diviner (pavTiq), 
who claims to have been before the ages, tell us < which kind of matter 
he meant* >. (2) For he even dared to say he was the Paraclete Spirit — 
though on other occasions he calls himself an apostle of Jesus Christ, as 
I said. And yet he never took the form of a dove, or put on the Paraclete 
Spirit who was sent to the apostles from heaven to be their garment of 

94 Gen 1:26. 

95 Gen 1:31. 

96 Holl: fSpcoCTecop; MSS: micciiascoi;. 



immortality < and* > the power < of their testimony* >. (3) The Only- 
begotten promised to send this Spirit, and set the time for it “not many 
days hence” 97 but directly after his ascension — as he said, "If I depart, he 
will come.” 98 And on their return from the Mount of Olives, “they were 
filled with the Holy Spirit” at once in the upper room 99 (4) as the scripture 
says, “There appeared to them cloven tongues of fire.” 100 And the house 
was filled as with a violent blast of wind, and the Spirit settled on each of 
them, and they spoke of God’s wonders in tongues, and all heard them in 
their own languages. (5) For they came from every people under heaven 
and yet each of them was comforted by the Spirit — the apostles by the 
gift, and all the nations by the sound of God’s wondrous teaching. 

19.6 For if the Paraclete Spirit the Lord promised his disciples was this 
scum — this true Maniac, and bearer of the name by his own self-designa- 
tion — < the > apostles went to their rest cheated of the promise, though 
the Lord who does not lie had told them, “Ye shall receive the gift of the 
Holy Spirit after these few days.” 101 

19.7 And it will be found that the fraud is falsely accusing Christ of 
failure to keep his word. For the apostles’ generation is gone — I mean the 
generation from Peter until Paul, and until John who even lived until the 
time of Trajan. And James is gone, the first to exercise the episcopate in 
Jerusalem. (James was called the Lord’s brother but he was Joseph’s son, 
born, like the rest of his brothers, of Joseph’s real wife. (8) Because the 
Lord Jesus Christ, who was born in the flesh of the ever-virgin Mary, was 
brought up with them, < they > were in the position of brothers to him, and 
he was called their brother.) And all the saints who shared James’ throne 
are gone, and Symeon, the son of James’ uncle, with them — Symeon, the 
son of Cleopas the brother of Joseph. 

19,9 I subjoin their successive episcopates one by one, beginning with 
the episcopate of James — < I mean the successive > bishops who were 
appointed in Jerusalem during each emperor’s reign until the time of 
Aurelian and Probus, when this Mani, a Persian, became known, and pro- 
duced this outlandish teaching. 

97 Acts 1:5. 

98 Cf. John 16:7. 

99 Sic! Acts 2:4 combined with 1:13. 

100 Acts 2:3. 

101 Acts 1:5; 2:38. 



The list follows: 102 

20,1 James, who was martyred in Jerusalem by beating with a cudgel. 
[He lived] until the time of Nero. 

Symeon, was crucified under Trajan. 





John, bringing us to the ninth [or] tenth year of Trajan. 103 




Justus, bringing us to Hadrian. 




15. Judah, bringing us to the eleventh year of Antonius. 104 The above 
were the circumcised bishops of Jerusalem. 

The following were gentiles: 





20. Julian. These all exercised their office up until the tenth year of 
Antoninus Pius. 

2r. Gaian 

Gaius, bringing us to the time of Verus, in the eighth year of his reign. 



Maximus, bringing us to the sixteenth year of Verus. 



Dolichian, bringing us to Commodus. 


102 The following list appears to be derived from a series of references in Eusebius’ 
Chronicle. For a discussion in detail see Holl, Panariom II, pp. 44-47. 

103 MSS: Ecbp Sex a Evvsa etou$. Holl suggests that this is a dittography. 

104 MS: psxpi evSejottou Avtcoviou. Holl tentatively suggests ptexP 1 TEpocoXupcov aXcotjEcop. 



Dius, bringing us to Severus. 


Gordius, bringing us to Antoninus. 

Narcissus, the same person, bringing us to Alexander the son of 
Mamaea — not Alexander of Macedon, but a different one. 

Alexander, bringing us to the same Alexander. 

Mazabanus, bringing us to Gallus and Volusian. 

Hymenaeus, bringing us to Aurelian. 

20.3 According to some annalists there are 276 105 years altogether from 
Christ’s ascension until the time of Mani, Aurelian and Probus. According 
to others, there are 246. 

And there have been eight other bishops from that time until the pres- 
ent: Bazas, Hermo, Macaris, Maximus, Cyril, Herennis, Cyril once more, 
and Hilarion, the present occupant of the see, who is accused of consort- 
ing with the Arians. 

20.4 And the successive emperors whose reigns coincided [with these 
last eight episcopates] are: The remaining one year of the remaining part 
of Aurelian’s reign; Tacitus, who reigned for six months; < Probus, six 
years >; Carus, Carinus and Numerian, two years. Diocletian, twenty years. 
Maximian, Licinius, Constantine, Constantius, Julian, Jovian, Valentinian, 
Valens, Gratian, < 73 years altogether >. (5) Thus there are 101 years from 
Mani until the present, that is, till the thirteenth year of Valens, the ninth 
of Gratian, the first of Valentinian the Younger and the ninety-third of the 
Diocletian era. 106 (6) < In other words the Holy Spirit waited for 276 years 
in Mani* >, so that he could be sent to the world as [his] emissary in the 
fourth year of Aurelian and the episcopate of Hymenaeus at Jerusalem, 

< and > deprive and cheat his followers of the truth through the working 
of imposture and delusion by the devil who inhabited him. 

21,1 Hence his entire trickery has been fully exposed since, through 
their accurate discovery of everything, the minds of the wise will surely 
find his false notion out. (2) And all his other beliefs are sophisms, filled 
with foolishness — perverse, uncertain and, to all the wise, ridiculous. 

< Since I intend > to analyze them phrase by phrase, and set down the 
arguments against them all, I am going to make the refutatory part of my 
work against him very bulky. (3) Marvelously good replies to him have 

105 This figure is obtained by adding the thirty years of Christ’s life to the 246. 

106 I.e., 377 a.d. Epiphanius has been at work on the Panarion for approximately two 
years. Cf. Pan. Proem II 2,3. 



already been composed by great men — by Archelaus the bishop, as has 
been said; and, I have heard, by Origen; and by Eusebius of Caesarea and 
Eusebius of Emesa, Serapion of Thmuis, Athanasius of Alexandria, George 
of Laodicea, Apollinaris of Laodicea, Titus, and many who have spoken in 
opposition to him. 

21,4 Still, even in my poverty it will do no harm to make a few remarks 
to the wretched man’s shame, in refutation of what I have already called 
his entirely false notion. (5) And I would prefer not to put his refutation 
in harsh terms but as gently as possible, except that, impudently, he does 
not hesitate to blaspheme the Lord of all and deny at the outset that he is 
the creator — this though he made this whole vault of heaven, earth, and 
everything in them, and everything in the world. But in imagining another 
God who does not exist, Mani has abandoned the One who does. (6) He 
has been deprived of the truth, and has had the experience in the comic 
proverb, where the crow had food in its mouth and saw the reflection of 
the food in the water, and wanting to get something else to eat, lost the 
food it had and still didn’t get the food it didn’t. 

21.7 But who can tolerate the blasphemer? If we have fathers of flesh 
and blood and cannot bear to hear them criticized, how much more if we 
hear the Lord God of all blasphemed by the savage Mani? 

21.8 When, in the divine goodness, storms are sent by the mercy of 
God, Mani is not ashamed to say blaspehmously that storms do not come 
from God, but from the effluent of the archons. 107 (22,1) But who could 
fail to laugh out loud to say the rest, since the tales of Philistion probably 
carry more conviction than Mani’s mimes? (2) He teaches about a mythi- 
cal porter who supports the whole world, 108 and says that every thirty 
years the porter’s shoulder gets tired, and he shifts the world to the other 
shoulder, and < this is why > there are earthquakes. 109 

107 Keph. 116,29-31 is more dignified: "(The archons) and also the tyrants, in whose 
heart it is to rule in the clouds, the storms (?), the winds, the pneumata and the storm- 
winds.” With Epiphanius’ version, (a parody?) cf. Act. Arch. 9.3; Cyr. Cat. 6.34; Tit. Bost. 
Man. 8.2. 

108 Man. Ps. 2,18-20, “The Omophorus, the great burden-carrier, who treads upon 
the . . . with the soles of his feet, supporting the earths with his hands, carrying the burden 
of the creations.” Cf. Act. Arch. 8.2. 

109 At Keph. 93,16-19 the earthquake “in the watch of the Porter” is a primordial one, 
and is caused by a rebellion in the depths: “Again, during the watch of the Omophorus who 
humbles . . . there was a rebellion of the depths below . . . bowed, and the fastenings beneath 
came loose ... in the foundation below.” Cf. NHC Orig. Wld. 102,25-31. Outside of Epipha- 
nius, the shifting of the porter’s pole is found only at Timothy Presbyter PG 86, 21A. 



22,3 But if this were so, the thing would be a fact of nature, not super- 
natural. (4) And the Savior’s words refute the charlatan, for he said, 
“Become good like your Father in heaven, for he maketh his sun to rise 
on the just and on the unjust, and sendeth his rain on the evil and on 
the good,” 110 and, “There shall be earthquakes in divers places, and fam- 
ines and pestilences.” 111 (5) If earthquakes were natural or normal, < but > 
perhaps there were frequent quakes in a country and the earth happened 
to shake many times a night for a whole year, would that be because the 
porter’s shoulders hurt, and he was uncomfortable and made the quake 
continuous? And who can endure this sort of nonsense? 

22,6 But what else < in >credible has he not dared to say? For he claims 
that souls which have acquired knowledge of his imposture are taken 
up into the moon, since the essence of the soul is luminous. (7) This is 
why the moon waxes and wanes, he says; it becomes filled with the souls 
which have died in the knowledge of his unbelief. (8) Then, he says, they 
are offloaded from the moon — the smaller ship, < as > he calls it — to the 
sun. And < the sun > takes them aboard and deposits them in the aeon of 
the blessed. 

22,9 But wickedness is always blind, and unaware of its own shame — 
how it is refuted by its own words, because it cannot make its lies consis- 
tent. (23,1) For one man was formed to begin with, Adam, and had sons 
and daughters. But in the beginning of the creation, around Adam’s hun- 
dredth year, Abel was killed at roughly the age of thirty 112 (2) After this 
first victim of murder the first man, Adam, died, at about the age of 930. 
But the sun, moon and stars had been fixed and established in the sky on 
the fourth day of creation. (3) Now what should we say, Mister? Should we 
agree that your stupidity has been exposed? How could 930 years go by 
without the moon’s waning and waxing? (4) With which departed souls 
was the sun filled and loaded? Well? But Mani did not know that there 
are wise persons who cannot be convinced by lying words, but [only] by 
the most authentic proofs. 

23,5 But if we do grant that this is so — heaven help us, it can’t be! [But 
if we grant that it is so], and the moon, in growing full, is crammed with 
the souls of Manicheans, still how can such a proposition be sustained? 113 

110 Matt 5:45. 

111 Cf. Mark 13:8. 

112 Jub. 2.10. 

113 At Man. 22 Alexander of Lycopolis bases his anti-Manichean argument on the fixed 
periods of the moon’s waxing and waning. 



(6) If no Manichean died after the fifteenth of the month, and it was 
fore-ordained that Manicheans would die up until the fifteenth, but no 
more after the fifteenth until the moon’s cargo had been unloaded to start 
loading again at the new moon, their lie would be convincing. As it is, 
it is unpersuasive. (7) Manicheans die every day, and the heavenly bod- 
ies which God has ordained know their course. And once more, the slop 114 
about the souls in the moon, which he has made up, won’t do. 

24,1 Again, some of them < concoct another story* > with villainous 
intent, < and* > say that the Mother of all 115 allowed her power to come 
down from heaven to steal < from > the archons 116 and rob them of the 
power they had taken from on high. (2) For Mani says that the princi- 
palities and authorities made war on the living God and seized < his*> 
great and incomprehensible < essence* > from him, a power which he 
calls the soul. 

24,3 How very absurd of him! Whoever is seized and handled with vio- 
lence has been bested. If the principalities oppressed the good God and 
took power from his armor, they must be more powerful than he. (4) And 
if he gave in to them to begin with, he does not have the ability to take 
the power, or armor, which they stole from him back from them 117 — not 
when he was unable to resist his enemies in the first place. 

24,5 To put it another way, suppose that he could win a victory at some 
time, prevail over his antagonists, and take back the power they had sto- 
len from him. Since the root of evil, its first principle with no beginning, 
would still be in existence and impossible to destroy altogether, it would 
win in another war, prevail by the exercise of some power, and again take 
more power from the good God, as well as his power which he had taken 
back. (6) And evil will always be ranged against the good God and never 
controllable, so that it will be forever seizing and being seized. 

114 Epiphanius is apparently punning on yopo?, which can mean either “cargo” or 

115 In Manichean theology the Mother of all is usually the first emanation from the 
Father. She does not ordinarily interact directly with earthly heings. Cfi, however, Keph. 
71,21-23, “If (the Mother of Life) had descended and come down, by [her own will alone], 
from the Father's height to the earth, [she would have spent a thousand] years, and ten 
thousands . . .” 

116 Keph. 124,28-29, “Thus when the matter that is in them is oppressed . . . and 
robbed . . .” Cf. PS IV.136 (MacDermot pp. 354-355), "But the base of the moon was of the 
type of a boat, and a male dragon and a female dragon steered it, while two white bulls 
drew it. And the likeness of a child was at the back of the moon, and guided the dragons 
as they stole the light of the archons from them.” 

117 Cf. Tit. Bost. Man. 1.23; 30. 



24,7 But even though these people, whose wits are damaged < and > 
who are in every way deluded, say that if the good God frees the part of 
his armor that has been seized from him, he will then do away with the 
principalities and authorities of the opposing power and destroy them 
altogether — even if this will happen, and the good God will indeed get 
rid of them entirely and destroy them, 118 the scum’s argument is still all 
wrong. For he is claiming that the “good” God is not just and does not 
condemn the sinner, either by consigning him to torments or by putting 
him to death. (8) For if he makes any attempt to do away with the devil, 
or opposing power, and destroy him, either he cannot be good in himself, 
as Mani’s account of him says he is; or, if he is good and still destroys evil, 
then this Lord who made heaven and earth must be < just >, as in fact he 
is, since he "rendereth to every man according to his deeds.” 119 For with 
extreme goodness he provides the good man, who has grown weary in 
well-doing, with good, and metes out justice to the evildoer, (g) And it has 
been shown in every way that Mani’s talk gradually turns men’s hearts to 
the opposites [of his teachings]. 

25,1 But next I appropriately insert Mani’s doctrine word for word as 
Turbo himself revealed it, one of Mani’s disciples whom I mentioned ear- 
lier, taking this from Archelaus’ arguments against Mani in the debate 
with him. (2) When the bishop Archelaus, and Marcellus, questioned 
Turbo about Mani’s teaching, Turbo replied in the words I quote from 
the book. They are as follows: 120 

25,3 The beginning of Mani’s godless teachings 

If you wish to learn the creed of Mani, hear it from me in a concise form. 
Mani believes in two gods, unbegotten, self engendering, eternal, and the 
opposites of each other. And he teaches that one is good and the other evil, 
and calls the one Light, and the other, Darkness . 121 The soul in human beings 
is part of the light, but the body is part of the darkness and the creature of 
matter . 122 

118 Cf. Tit. Bost. Man. 1.30. 

119 Rom 2:6. 

120 25,3-31,8 are quoted from Act. Arch. 7.13. 

121 Keph. 286,127-30, “[the] two essences which are primordial ... light and darkness, 
good and evil, [life and] death . . .” 

122 Cf. Henning, “Ein Manichaischer kosmogonischer Hymnus,” NGWG 1032 pp. 251- 
253, “. . . matter is distributed which (in) itself is seven she-demons. The first one is the 
skin ...(... she, i.e., Greed, Az) took, and she made this carrion, the microcosm, in order 
to be made joyful through it . . .” 



25,4 Now < Mani > says that a mixture or confusion of these has come 
about as follows, likening the two < gods > to the following illustration: 
Suppose two kings were at war with each other , 123 and they had been ene- 
mies from the first, and each had his respective territory. But in the battle 
the darkness sallied forth from its territory and assailed the light. (5) Now 
when the good Father found the darkness had invaded his land he emitted a 
power from himself called Mother of life , 124 and she emitted First Man < and 
clothed him * > with the five elements . 125 These are wind, light, water, fire and 
matter . 125 (6) Putting these on as battle gear, he went below and did battle 
with the darkness . 121 But as they fought against him the archons of the dark- 
ness ate part of his armor 128 that is, the soul 

25.7 Then First Man was fearfully hard pressed there below by the dark- 
ness. And if the Father had not heard his prayer 129 and sent another power 
he had emitted, called Living Spirit, and if Living Spirit had not descended 
and given First Man his right hand and drawn him out of the darkness , 130 
First Man might well have been in danger of capture long ago. 

25.8 After this First Man abandoned the soul below. And when Mani- 
cheans meet they give each other their right hands 131 for this reason, as a 
sign that they have been saved from the darkness. For Mani says that all 

123 Keph. 4,1-2, “the darkness made war on the light, because it desired to rule over an 
essence that was not its own.” In the NHC, cf. Tri. Trac. 84,6-17. 

124 Keph. 71,19-20, “at the time when the Mother of Life was called forth from the 
Father of Greatness." 

125 Keph. 153,23-24, “[At] the time when the First Man put on the elements and (stood 
firm) against the first enmity that originated in the darkness” 

126 “Matter” is never a Manichean element; Epiphanius appears to misunderstand Act. 
Arch. 82.17; 83.18; 23. The fifth Manichean element is either air or ether. 

127 This key episode in the Manichean story is continually alluded to in Manichean lit- 
erature. Treatments at length are found, among others, at Keph. 38,8-40,16; 271,30-273,9. 

128 Cf. Asmussen p. 121 (Fragments M 1001, M 1012, M 1015, Middle Persian; Ed. W. Sun- 
dermann, lines 113-133), “Thus [it was] that God, [the First] Man, appeared. And again, 
to all these powers it (i.e., the Light) was like a sweet meal before hungry ones; When it 
stands before them, they all devour it; . . .” 

129 Asmussen p. 122 (M 21, Parthian: MM III: 890-891), “The God Ormizd prayed to his 
mother, and his mother prayed to the righteous God: ‘Send a helper to my son, for he has 
carried out your will, and he has come into oppression.’ ” This is comparable to the prayer 
of the Logos at Tri. Trac. 81,26-82,14, and of Sophia in other Valentinian documents. 

130 Keph. 39,19-21, The second right hand is the one that Living Spirit gave to First 
Man after drawing him from the contest . . .” At NHC Gosp. Tr. 30,14-23, “the Spirit” gives 
his right hand to (Adam ?). 

131 This, and similar gestures, are discussed at length in Chapter 9 of the Kephalaia, 
Keph. 38,1-41,34. 



the sects are in the darkness. Then Living Spirit created the world 132 and he 
himself descended clothed with three other powers, brought the archons up 
and crucified them in the firmament 133 which is their body, the sphere. 

26,1 Then in turn, Living Spirit created the Luminaries, which are rem- 
nants of the soul P 34 and made them circle the firmament. And he created the 
earth in its turn, in eight forms . 135 But beneath it <is*> the Porter, who bears 
< it on his shoulders * >; and whenever he gets tired of bearing it he shivers, 
becoming the cause of an earthquake out of its time. (2) This is why the good 
Father sent his Son from < his > bosom to the heart of the earth and its low- 
est depths, to give the Porter his due punishment . 136 For whenever there is 
an earthquake he is either trembling from fatigue or shifting the earth to his 
other shoulder. 

26.3 Next, matter too created growing things from herself. And since they 
were being stolen by certain archons, she called all the chief archons, took 
power from each , 137 made this man in the image of that First Man , 138 and 
bound the soul in him . 133 This is the reason for the mixture. 

26.4 But when Living Father saw the soul squeezed into the body, in his 
mercy and compassion he sent his beloved Son for the soul’s salvation — -for 

132 See Asmussen pp. 122-123 (T III 26oe ii=M 7984 II, Middle Persian: MM I 177-181) 
for a lengthy account of the creation by Living Spirit. There are frequent references to this 
in the Kephalaia. 

133 Keph. 26.28-31 “This is the second night . . . which was brought up by Living Spirit 
and put in the [mixed world] below and above"; 27.10-12 “. . . the second night which the 
Living Spirit has crucified in the [mixed world] below and above.” 

134 Luminaries made from the remains of the soul are found only at Alex. Lycop. 19 and 
Bar Khouni in Pognon p. 189. But note Keph. 269,21-23, “The second image (in man) is the 
remnant and remainder of the new man, the psychic image which is bound in the flesh.” 

135 Keph. 118,23-25, The second part is the eight earths beneath, the four that are mixed 
and the four places of darkness.” 

136 On the contrary, at Keph. 9.6-11 Jesus comes to the Porter’s aid: “Again, since the 
earth beneath the porter escaped the making fast ... for this reason Jesus came below, put- 
ting on Eve until he arrived at the first place. He ordered and fastened the fastenings that 
were helow, and returned and ascended to the rest.” At NHC Orig. Wld. 102,25-103,2 Pistis 
sends her breath to bind the “trouble-maker” below, who is making the heavens shake. 

137 Klimkeit p. 41 ( Verses from a hymn on the Third Messenger and the Archons, Par- 
thian) “Filth and dross flow from (the Demon of Wrath) to the earth. They clothe them- 
selves in manifold forms and are rehorn in many fruits.” Cf. NHC Orig. Wld. 114,24-30, “And 
at that time, the prime parent then rendered an opinion concerning man to those who 
were with him. Then each of them cast his sperm into the midst of the navel of the earth. 
Since that day, the seven rulers have fashioned man . . .” 

138 At Keph. 138,6-14 Matter sees the image of the third Messenger (not of First Man), 
and then enters the tree of life and becomes its fruit. The archons eat the fruit and then 
make man. 

139 Keph. 95,15-17, “But his [soul] [he] took from the five splendid gods [and bound] it 
in the five members of the body. He bound the mind . . .” 



he sent him [both] for this reason and on account of the Porter . 140 And when 
the Son arrived he changed his appearance into a man’s and appeared to 
men as a man, though he was not one; and people supposed that he had been 
begotten [like a man ]. 141 (6) And when he came he created the things that 
were meant for the salvation 0/ souls 142 and set up a device with twelve water 
jars which is turned by the sphere and draws up the souls of the dying. And 
the greater luminary takes these with its rays, cleanses them and transfers 
them to the moon, and this is how what we call the disk of the moon becomes 
full— for Mani says that the two luminaries are ships, or ferry-boats . 143 

26.7 Then, if the moon is filled [with souls], it ferries them across to the 
east wind, and thus gets its Load dislodged and is lightened, and begins to 
wane . 144 And it fills the ferry-boat again, and again discharges its cargo of 
the souls which are drawn up by the water jars, until it has saved its part of 
the soul. For Mani says that all soul, and every living and moving thing, is a 
partaker of the essence of the good Father. 

26.8 When the moon has delivered her load of souls to the aeons of the 
Father, they remain in the pillar of glory, which is called the perfect air . 145 
But this air is a pillar of light, since it is full of souls being purified. This is 
the reason the souls are saved. 

140 Keph. 267,28-268,1, “Jesus has not come and saved the world only on man’s 
account ... He has come and appeared on earth . . . But after he was through working outside, 
in the great cosmos, he came . . .” and 1) revealed himself to Adam and Eve; 2) dispatched 
apostles in every generation to preach the Manichean message of salvation. 

141 Cf. Asmussen p. 103 (M 24 R 4-8=M 812 V 1-4 Parthian: W. B. Henning, “Brahman” 
TPS 1944, p. 112) “Grasp, all believers, the truth of Christ, learn and wholly understand his 
secret: He changed his form and appearance”; Man. Horn. 11,5-6, “[Jesus] was [sent] to it; 
he came and took the form (?) of a body . . .”; Man. Ps. 191,4-11, “Amen, I was seized; Amen 
again, I was not seized. Amen, I was judged; Amen again, I was not judged ... I mocked the 
world, they could not mock me.” 

142 Keph. 61,22-24, “until he went and descended into the plasma (!) of the flesh, and 
set up earths and all plants.” 

143 Man. Ps. 10,30-11,2, “the sun and the moon he founded, he set them on high, to purify 
the soul. Daily they take up the refined part to the height, but the dregs they erase . . . they 
convey it above and below. Keph. 159,25-26, “(The sun) removes the darkness with its light 
and sweeps it away, NHC Treat. Res. 45,9-46,2 The departed “are drawn to heaven by him, 
like beams of the sun”; this constitutes the “spiritual resurrection.” 

144 Keph. 108,20-22, “through the manner of the garment of the wind, in which he 
appeared, [Living Spirit] has swept out and scraped out all the shadows of destruction 
and dirt, and poured it down on the earth.” 

145 The pillar of glory is regularly called the “perfect man,” (otvvjp) not the “perfect air 
(ay)p).” However, in Manichean poetry the ideas approach one another, cf. Man. Ps. 83,25- 
27, “Hail, Perfect Man, holy path that draws to the height, clear air, mooring-harbor of all 
that believe in him.” 



27,1 But this, in turn, is the reason why people die . 146 A lovely, beautifully 
adorned Virgin, very attractive, is attempting to rob the archons who have 
been brought up by Living Spirit and crucified in the firmament. She appears 
as a lovely women to the males and as a handsome, desirable youth to the 
females . 14,7 ( 2 ) And when the archons see her with all her adornment they go 
mad with love; and because they cannot catch her 148 they become dreadfully 
hot, and their minds are ravished with desire 149 ( 3 ) Now when they run after 
her the Virgin disappears. Then the chief archon emits the clouds to darken 
the world in his anger; and if he is extremely vexed he perspires and is out of 
breath, like a man. And his sweat is the rain . 150 

27,4 At the same time, if the archon of destruction 151 is robbed by the Vir- 
gin, he sheds pestilence on the whole world to slay human beings . 152 For this 
body of ours may be called a < miniature* > world which answers to < this > 
great world , 155 and all people have roots below which are fastened to the 
realms on high . 154 Thus, when the archon is robbed by the Virgin, he begins 
to cut men’s roots. ( 5 ) And when their roots are cut a pestilence sets in and 
they die. But if he shakes the heavens by [tugging at) the cord of their root, 
the result is an earthquake, for the Porter is moved at the same time. This is 
the reason for death. 

146 The Virgin of Light is often associated with death, cf. Man. Ps. 84,30-32, “Draw not 
the veil of thy secrets until I see the beauty of the joyous image of my Mother, the holy 
Maiden, who will ferry me until she brings me to my city.” At Keph. 244,9-13 and regularly 
in Pistis Sophia, the Virgin of Light is a judge and assessor of departed souls. 

147 Klimkeit p. 68 ( A hymn to the Third Messenger, Parthian) “The mighty powers, the 
giants eager for battle, withdraw light from all creatures. In two bright forms they seduce 
the demons of wrath.” For a longer version see Theodore bar Khouni (Pognon p. 190). 

148 Cf. NHC Apocry. John. 19,18-20,5; Nat. Arc. 87,33-88,15; Orig. Wld. 115,3-116,8. 

149 Cf. Asmusssen p. 132 (M 741 Mary Boyce, “Sadwes and Pesus,” BSOAS, Vol. 13, No. 
4 (1951); pp. 911-913) “Bright Sadwes shows her form to the Demon of Wrath; by her own 
(nature) she seduces him. He thinks she is the essence (of light). He sows ... he groans 
when he no longer sees the form. Light is born in the sphere; she gives it to the higher 
Powers. The dirt and dross flows from him to the earth. It clothes itself in all phenomena, 
and is reborn in many fruits. The Dark Demon of Wrath is ashamed, for he is distraught 
and had become naked. He had not attained to the higher, and had been bereft of what 
he had achieved.” 

150 Cf. Tit. Bost. Man. 2,32. At Keph. 240,19-243,8 clouds are formed in the image of the 
Virgin of Light. The archons steal power from them and the angels pursue the archons; this 
is the cause of lightning. And see the note preceding. 

151 Keph. 153,29, “archons of death”; 153,34, “warrior of destruction.” 

152 Keph. 169,5-8, “But when the robbery is on the side of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius, 
there is a loss and diminution everywhere in the seal (?) of mankind.” 

153 Keph. 169,29-170,1, “this whole world above and below answers to the form of the 
human body, while the fashion of this body of flesh answers to the form of the cosmos.” 

154 Keph. 124,15-17, “but the root of man ... is not in the whole earth, but only in this 
southern world.” 



28.1 And I shall also telly ou how the soul is reincarnate in other bodies . 155 
First a little of it is purified, and then it is put into the body of a dog or camel, 
or another animal. But if a soul has committed murder, it is put into the 
bodies of lepers . 155 If it is found to have reaped grain, it is put into stammer- 
ers. ( These are the names of the soul: reason, mind, intelligence, thought, 
understanding .) 157 

28.2 But reapers, who reap grain, are like the archons who were in the 
darkness 158 at the beginning, when they ate some of First Man’s armor. Thus 
they must be reembodied in grass, beans, barley, wheat or vegetables 159 so 
that < they too > may be reaped and cut down. (3) Again, if someone eats 
bread 160 he must become bread himself and be eaten. If one kills a bird, < he 
too > will be a bird. If one kills a mouse, he will also be a mouse . 161 (4) And 
again, if one is rich in this world, he must be reembodied in a poor man when 
he leaves his tabernacle, so that he may go begging and after this go away 
to eternal punishment . 162 

28,5 Since this body is the body of the archons and matter, whoever plants 
a persea must pass through many bodies until that persea is planted. But if 
anyone builds a house , 163 bits of him will be put into all the kinds of bodies 
there are. Whoever bathes 164 plants his soul in the water. (6) And whoever 
does not give his alms to the elect will be punished in the hells and reincar- 
nate in the bodies of catechumens until he gives many alms. And for this 
reason they offer the elect whatever food is their choicest . 165 

155 Cf. Keph. 223,29-31; 225,8-11; 27-28; 249,32-250,3 et al. 

156 Cf. Tit. Bost. Man. 2.35. 

157 These are regularly called the “limbs” of the soul; cf. Keph. 76,16-25. 

158 Keph. 26,13, “the whole hand of archons, which is in the world of darkness” 

159 Henning, “Bet- und Beichtbuch,” APAW 1936, No. 10, pp 32-33, “Wenn (ich) 
zulasse . . .(er) die fiinf pflanzlichen Geschopfe, seien sie feucht oder trocken, entzweitritt 
oder zerstiickelt, verletzt oder zerreisst . . .” 

160 At CMC 97,11-17 Mani says that Elxai, the founder of the “baptists,” at the bidding of 
the bread itself, forbade his followers to hake bread. 

161 Klimkeit p. 169 ( Confessional Text for the Elect, Sogdian with Persian citations) “If 
(I should have allowed) the weight of my body, the cruel [self...] to beat or hurt (that 
Light) ... by injuring . . . the five (types of) fleshly beings . . .” 

162 Keph. 116,22-25, “Before the dregs and sediment (?) of the darkness were swept out 
of creation, [Hells] were established for them to be the receptacle of the dregs until the 
dissolution of the world.” 

163 Klimkeit, p. 169 ( Confessional Text for the Elect, Sogdian with Persian citations) 
“If (I should have allowed) the weight of my body, the cruel [self] to bear or hurt that 
light ... by digging or shoveling, building or constructing a wall in the dry, cracked, injured, 
oppressed and trodden earth . . .” 

164 At CMC 94,5-9 Mani says that a face appeared in the water to Elxai, the founder of 
the "baptists,” and forbade him to bathe. 

165 Keph. 166,13-16, “But whoever loves (the elect) and deals with them through his 
alms, will live and be victorious with them and will be delivered from this dark world” 



28,7 And when they are about to eat bread they pray first, and ted the 
bread, “I neither reaped you, nor ground you, nor pounded you, nor put you 
into an oven; someone else did these things, and brought you to me. I have 
been eating without guilt.’’ And whenever [an electus] says this for himself, 
he tells the catechumen, “I have prayed for you,” and the catechumen with- 
draws . 166 (8) For as I told you a moment ago that whoever reaps will be 
reaped, so whoever throws wheat into a thresher will be thrown in himself— 
or if he kneads dough he will be kneaded, or if he bakes bread he will be 
baked. And for this reason they are forbidden to do work . 161 

28,9 And again, < they say that > there are other worlds, since the lumi- 
naries set from this world and rise in those . 168 And whoever walks on the 
ground injures the earth 169 — and whoever moves his hand injures the air, 
because the air is the soul of men, animals, birds, fish, reptiles and everything 
in the world. < For > I have told you that this body does not belong to God but 
to matter, and that it is darkness and must itself be made dark . 110 

2g,i But as to Paradise, which is a name for the world: Its plants are lusts 
and other impostures which destroy men’s reasonings. But that plant in Par- 
adise through which the good is recognized is Jesus 171 < and > the knowledge 
of him in the world .” 112 One who takes [its fruit] can distinguish good from 
evil (2) The world itself, however, is not God’s but was formed from a part of 
matter, and all things are therefore destroyed . 118 

166 Cf. Asmussen p.5o(TIIE = 6o2oI, Parthian: Henning, “A Grain of Mustard,” Annati, 
1 st. Or. Napoli Sc. 2 Line 6 (1965) pp. 29-30), “(The elect) himself will be saved, he will also 
save him who gave the alms-food, and it (i.e., the Living Soul, self) will reach the dome 
of the gods unharmed.” Cyr. Cat 6.32 calls this prayer a curse on the catechumens, cf. Tit. 
Bost. Man. 2.32. 

167 CMC 93,2-11, “See how the disciples of the Savior . . . did not work in the tillage and 
husbandry of the soil . . .” 

168 Holl: xai acslvoi? dvoiTs^ivTcov; MSS: el; &v dvaTE^ouai 

169 Klimkeit p. 169 ( Confessional text for the elect, Sogdian with Persian citations) "If 
(I should have allowed) the weight of my body, the cruel [self. . .] to beat or hurt that Light 
while walking or riding, ascending or descending, (walking) quickly or slowly . . .” 

170 Man. Horn. 6,1-8, “I shall (judge?) my body and pronounce its condemnation, ‘Cursed 
art thou, 0 [body] . . . Thy lust is condemned in thee . . . Thy demons shall enter . . . Thou hast 
tormented me . . . Thou hast caused [me] to weep . . . year after year I show thee no rever- 
ence . . . thou hast brought them upon me. Cursed art thou . . . cursed is he that made thee.’ ” 

171 Perhaps cf. Keph. 53,26-28, “Afterwards he planted his good plantings, the tree of 
life which bears good fruit. So it is with the likeness of the coming of Jesus the Splendor.” 

172 Cf. CMC 84,9-16, “the purity which has been spoken of is the purity that comes by 
knowledge, the distinction of light from darkness, death from life, and the living waters 
from the astonied,” and many other Manichean praises of knowledge. 

173 Man. Horn. 39,22-27, “Then, after Jesus, comes the destruction of the world . . . the 
flesh shall vanish altogether and be uprooted from the world. If the . . . flesh is destroyed 
and perishes and . . . [the All] is cleaned up. The world . . . and it shall remain waste . . .” 



The thing the archons stole from First Man is the very thing that fills the 
moon, and is cleaned out of the world every day. (3) And if the soul departs 
without knowing the truth, it is given to the demons to subdue in the hells of 
fire . 174 And after its punishment it is put into < other > bodies to be subdued, 
and so it is thrown into the great fire until the consummation . 175 

30,1 Now this is what he says about your prophets. There are spirits of 
impiety or iniquity which belong to the darkness that arose at the begin- 
ning, and because the prophets were deceived by these they did not tell < the 
truth >. For < that > archon has blinded their minds . 176 (2) And anyone who 
follows their words will die forever, imprisoned in the clod [ of earth ], because 
he did not learn the Paraclete’s knowledge . 177 

30,3 Mani has commanded only his elect, of whom there are no more 
than seven , 178 “When you finish eating, pray and put on your heads oil which 
has been exorcized with many names, as a support for this faith. ” The names 
have not been revealed to me for only the seven employ them. (4) And again, 
< he says > that the name ofSabaoth, which is revered and of great impor- 
tance among you, is human in nature and a father of lust. And so, he says, 
the foolish worship lust, thinking it is God. 

30,5 This is what he says about the creation of Adam. The person who said, 
“Come, and let us make man in our image and after our likeness” 178 — that 
is, “in accordance with the form which we have seen” — is the archon who 
told the other archons, “Give me of the light which we have taken and let us 
make a man in the form of us archons < and > the form we have seen, which 
is First Man .” 180 

174 Cf. Fihrist al-’Ulum (Flugel, p. 101) “Wenn aber dem siindigen Menschen . . . der Tod 
erscheint, so nahen sich ihm die Teufel, packen und qualen ihn . . . Dann irrt er in der Welt 
unaufhorlich umher von Peinigungen heimgesucht bis zu der Zeit, wo dieser Zustand auf- 
hort und er mit der Welt in die Holle geworfen wird.” 

175 Keph. 29,12-14, "Blessed is anyone who is perfect in his works, that, at his end, [he 
may escape] the great fire which is prepared for [the world] at the end of time.” 

176 At Aug. C. Faust. 16.6 Faustus says, “Moses’ tradition is so dissimilar to Christ’s, 
and so very different, that if the Jews believed one of them they must certainly repudiate 
the other.” In contrast, both CMC 62,9-63,1 and Man. Flom. 75,22 appear to praise the 

177 Keph. 233,25-27, “one (portion of his sins will be forgiven him) because he knows 
the knowledge and has distinguished light from darkness . . .” 

178 This might be a misunderstanding of the Greek version of Act. Arch. 63.5, where 
the Latin reads, “nomina quaedam invocare coepit quae nobis Turbo dixit, solos septem 
electos didicisse,” which means, not that there were only seven elect, but that only seven 
of the elect knew the names. 

179 Gen 1:26. 

180 In the Kephalaia the archons usually make man, in the likeness of Third Messenger. 
Cf. Keph. 133,5-134,7; 135.14-26; 157.7-9; 158,3-5- 

26 o 


And so they created the man. ( 6 ) But they Likewise created Eve and gave 
her some of their Lust for Adam’s deception. And the fashioning of the world 
from the archons’ handiwork was done through Adam and Eve. 

31,1 God has nothing to do with the world itself and takes no pleasure in it, 
because it was stolen from him by the archons at the beginning and became 
a burden to him. This is why he sends emissaries and steals his soul from 
them (Le., the archons ) every day through these luminaries, the sun and the 
moon, by which the whole world, and all creation, is taken away. (2) Mani 
says that the god who spoke with Moses, and with the Jews and their priests, 
is the archon of darkness; thus Christians, Jews and pagans are one and the 
same 181 since they believe in the same god. (3) For as that god is not the God 
of truth, he deceives them with his lusts. Therefore all who hope in that god, 
the god who spoke with Moses and the prophets, must be imprisoned with 
him, since they have not hoped in the God of truth. For that god spoke with 
them in accordance with his lusts, 

31,4 After all this he finally says, as he himself has written . 182 When the 
elder 183 makes his image 184 manifest, the Porter will drop the earth 185 outside. 
Then the great fire will be let loose and consume the whole world. (5) Next 
he will drop the clod < that is interposed > between [the world and] the new 
aeon, so that all the souls of sinners may be imprisoned forever. These things 
will take place when the image arrives. 

31,6 But all the emanations — Jesus, who is in the smaller ship, Mother 
of Life, the twelve steersmen, the Virgin of Light, the third Elder, who is in 

181 At Aug. C. Faust. 18.5 Faustus argues that on Christian premises, to become a Chris- 
tian one must be a Jew. Cf. 1.2; 16.10 and Ut. Cred. 10.14. 

182 Neither the identity of the document alluded to, nor the extent of the quotation, 
is clear. 

183 This is Third Messenger, cf. 31,6. The Greek should be 7ipe(r|3EUTV]s; rather than 
7rpEer|3uT»]s; the error is presumed to have originated in the archetype, and persists through- 
out Sect 66. 

184 Keph. 54,12-19 “until the time of the end, when he shall waken and arise in the great 
fire, and shall gather his own soul and form himself into the last image ... he gathers the 
life and light which is in all things, and builds it on his body.” 

185 Fihrist al-‘Ulum (Fliigel, Mani, p. 90), “wahrend dieses geschieht, erhebt sich der 
Engel, dem das Tragen der Erden obliegt, und der andere Engel steht von dem Nach- 
sichziehen der Himmel ab, so dass sich das Hochste mit dem Untersten vermischt und es 
lodert ein Feuer auf und frisst sich fort in diesen wirren Dingen, und hort nicht eher zu 
brennen, bis das, was sich in ihnen noch vom Licht befindet, aufgelost ist.” 



the Larger ship, Living Spirit, the wall of the great fire , 186 the wall } 87 of the 
wind, the air, the water, and the living fire within — have their dwellings < on 
high * > near the lesser luminary, until the fire destroys the whole world over 
a period of years whose length I do not know . 188 (7) And after this there 
will be a restoration of the two natures, and the archons will occupy their 
own realms below, while the Father will occupy the realms above, and have 
received his own back . 189 

31,8 Mani imparted this entire teaching to his three disciples and told 
each of them to make his way to his own area: Addas was assigned the east, 
Syria fell to Thomas, but the other, Hermeias, journeyed to Egypt. And they 
are there to this day for the purpose of establishing the teaching of this 

32,1 These are the passages I have quoted from the book by Archelaus 
that I mentioned. And this is the way Mani introduc<ed> the seed of his 
tares to the world when he belched out the tares of his teaching. (2) One 
could offer quantities of answers to however much there is of this mime’s 
slander, as must be plain to everyone. For even if the counter-arguments 
are not polished, the mere knowledge that this is what they believe will 
be enough to put them to shame, for their tenets are shaky and have no 
cogency. (3) For Mani overturns his earlier statements with his later ones, 
and says things later that are different from what he has said earlier. He 
sometimes would have it that the world is God’s creation, but sometimes 
that it comes from the archons and that God bears no responsibility for it, 
but that it is slated to perish. And sometimes he says that the firmament 
is the archons’ hides, but sometimes that they are crucified up above in 
the celestial sphere — < and > that they chase people, and make clouds, 
and get excited and wild at the sight of the virgin and the handsomeness 
of the youth. 

33, r What a disgrace! What could be worse, more disgusting, and more 
shameful than for the Spirit of truth to change himself into a female, but 

186 Keph. 108,25-29, “By his splendor, by his might, he has poured the fire of the dark- 
ness out from all the archons, cast it on this earth, and again, swept it off the earth and 
bound it in the vehicle that encompasses the whole world and so is called the wall of the 
great fire.” 

187 Le Coq, Turk. Man. II, APAW 1904, pp. 38-39, “Fahrzeuge zwer, Jesus der Sonne . . . mit 
fiinf Mauern, einer atherischen, windigen, leuchtenden, wassrigen und einer feurigen . . .” 

188 At Muller, Handschriftliche Reste aus Turfan II APAW 1904, p. 19, the number of 
years is given as 1468. So in the Fihrist al-‘Ulum Fliigel p.90. 

189 More typical is Keph. 52,17-19, “The light goes to its own land but the darkness 
remains in bonds and chains forever.” 



sometimes to appear in male form to the archons? It is disgraceful for a 
man to get drunk and act and look like a woman. But for women to act 
like men and dress in men’s clothes is the most disgraceful of all. (2) And 
if this spirit is the Spirit of virtue, and divine, why will it not have been 
insulted rather [than glorified] by its inventor Mani? And how can the 
archons go wild after having been skinned? Tell me that, Mister! How 
were they skinned after being crucified? And if they have indeed been 
crucified, how can they run after the power when it disappears? 

33.3 Who can put up with the blasphemer, with his declaration that we 
draw our nourishment from the archons’ sweat, and that the rain pours 
down on us from their dirty fluids? How can Mani drink himself — since 
he, along with his disciples, draws his water from the rain? What else 
can he be but absurd, to be so mastered by bodily needs that he drinks 

33.4 There are various degrees of sin, and the unintentional sinner will 
not be punished as severely as the one who commits the sin deliberately. 
(5) Even if this were true — and perish that thought, it’s the nut’s imagi- 
nation — [but if it were true], then people who draw and drink sweat and 
dirty fluids without knowing it < are > excusable, and more entitled to 
mercy than someone who succumbs to his own frailty and, for no good 
reason, is moved to draw and drink water, with full knowledge, from the 
archons’ drinks and their other bodily functions. 

34.1 And there are many ways in which he has deceived his followers 
with his lying mouth. Which of his notions is not absurd? The idea that 
seeds of herbs, produce and pulse are souls! (2) To venture <a> joke, to 
refute him in terms of his own mythology I may say that if the seeds of 
lentils, beans, chick-peas and the rest are souls, but the soul of a bull is 
the same, then, on his premises, people who eat meat have more to their 
credit than ascetics do. (3) For as his rigmarole goes, he is afraid that if he 
eats living things — (4) animals and the rest — he will become like them 
himself. < But> on the contrary! For if fifty, or even a hundred men get 
together all dine on one bull, as his vain calumny goes < they are all guilty 
of murder together* >. But in refutation we must still say that the fifty, or 
the hundred, become guilty [of the murder] of one soul, but someone who 
eats the grains of seeds will be guilty of ingesting thirty or forty souls at 
one gulp! And all the things he says are worthless and absurd. 

35.1 For to everyone whose mind < is established > in the Lord, the 
signs of the truth must surely be apparent from the true teaching itself; 
as a revelation of men’s salvation, nothing is more reliable than the Sav- 
ior. (2) This barbarian who has come to us from Persia and has the mind 



of a slave — being a slave physically never bothered him — says that all 
souls are alike and that the one soul is in all: people, domestic animals, 
wild beasts, birds, reptiles, creatures that fly and swim, bugs and the seeds 
of produce, trees and all other visible things. (3) But our Lord didn’t tell 
us this. When he came to save humanity did he also see to the cure of 
cattle, and < start on* > the healing and resurrection of dead beasts by 
gathering < their bones* >? He neither described this nor taught this to 
us, (4) far from it, but he knew the saving of human souls, as he said con- 
cisely in the riddle, “I am not come but for the lost sheep,” 190 meaning all 

35.5 And what does scripture say? “He healed all whom they brought 
unto him, that were lunatick and were taken with diverse diseases.” 191 
They brought him the blind, the deaf, the lame, the palsied, the maimed, 
and he extended his benefaction and healing to all of them; but scripture 
nowhere says that they brought him animals. 

35.6 Then again, “He came to the parts of Gergestha,” 192 as Mark says — 
or, “in the coasts of the Gergesenes,” as Luke says; 193 or “of the Gadarenes,” 
as in Matthew, 194 or “of the Gergesenes” as some copies [of Matthew] have 
it. 195 (The site was in between the three territories.) (7) “And behold two 
possessed with devils, exceeding fierce, coming out of the tombs, and they 
cried out, saying, Let us alone, what have we to do with thee, Jesus thou 
Son of God, that thou hast come before the time to torment us? We know 
thee who thou art, the holy one of God. And there was an herd of swine 
there feeding and the devils besought him saying, If thou cast us out of 
the men, send us into the swine. And they ran violently into the sea and 
perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled and told it in the 
city.” 196 

35,8 And in Matthew we are told of two possessed, but it simply men- 
tions swine and does not give the number, (g) But Mark even reported 
the exact number of the swine and said, "He came unto the parts of 
Gergestha, and there met him one possessed of a devil, and he had been 
bound with iron chains and plucked the chains asunder, and he had his 

190 Cf. Matt 15:24. 

191 Matt 4:24. 

192 Cf. Mark 5:1, but this reading is found only in Epiphanius and Theophylact. 

193 Luke 8:26. 

194 Matt 8:28. 

195 Matt 8:28 as read in N c , L, W, X et al. 

196 Matt 8:28-33. 



dwelling among the tombs and cried out, Let us alone, what have we to 
do with thee, Jesus thou Son of God? Thou hast come before the time to 
torment us. And Jesus asked him, What is thy name? And he said, Legion, 
for many devils had entered into him. And they besought him not to be 
sent out of the country, but to enter into the swine. For there was there 
an herd of swine feeding, and he gave them leave to enter into the swine. 
And the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea (for they were 
about two thousand) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the 
swine fled, and told it in the city.” 197 

35,10 Then did the divine Word who had become man for us ask in 
ignorance, and not know the demon’s name before he asked? No, it is 
the Godhead’s way to make the causes of each event clear from through 
the lips of persons who are questioned. (11) And here too, to show the 
frightfulness and the great number of the demons, he asks the question, 
so that the marvelous deed will be made known out of their own mouths. 
“And the devils besought him saying, Send us not into the abyss, but give 
us leave to enter into the swine. And he gave them leave. And the devils 
went out and entered into the swine, and the herd ran violently down a 
steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.” 198 

36,1 What great kindness of God! How he confounds falsehood but 
shows his servants the truth, through deeds, words and all of his care! For 
he has shown by a deed that the same soul is not in people, cattle and 
beasts. (2) If the soul were the same, why did he not refrain from destroy- 
ing two thousand souls at once when his aim was to purify one person 
or save one soul, the demoniac’s? If it were the same, why did he purify 
the one man or < save > the one soul, but permit the demons to enter the 
other bodies, or indeed, the other souls? 

36.3 Are the deeds of the light not plain to see? Are these words 
not “performed in the light?” 199 Is the truth’s face not radiant? Are “all 
things” not “plain to them that understand, and right for them that find 
knowledge?” 200 Who can hear and look into these things without convict- 
ing Mani of stitching together things that should not be stitched, to divert 
men’s minds from reality? 

36.4 But the offenders in their turn < try to evade the truth* >. I have 
even heard one argue in this way: after he had heard this argument from 

197 Mark 5:2-14. 

198 Mark 5:12-13. 

199 Cf. John 3:21. 

200 p rov 8: 9 . 



me the oaf turned round and thought he might get somewhere against 
God’s truth. Offering a completely absurd defense < he dared > 201 to make 
it out that the truth < agrees > with falsehood, and said, “But he had 
reserved death for the swine; their souls escaped from their bodies and 
were saved!” 

37,1 The stupidity of the people who can’t see, and who blind their 
minds, and don’t even listen to what they themselves say! (2) If he had 
any idea that the deliverance of souls from the body is salvation, the 
Savior should have killed the demoniac so that his soul would be saved 
by its deliverance from a human body. He must have loved the souls in 
the swine more than the soul of the man! (3) Why didn’t he let the man 
plunge into the sea with the pigs and die too, so as to purify and save all 
of the souls, the man’s and the pigs’? 

37,4 But we have seen nothing of the kind. The Savior calls Lazarus 
from the tomb on the fourth day following his death, raises him and 
restores him to the world, and not to do him a disservice or cause him 
harm. The scripture says, *Jesus Loved Lazarus.” 202 (5) If flesh is evil, why 
did Jesus make the man he loved return to the flesh? Why didn’t he leave 
him alone instead, once he had died and been delivered from the body? 

37,6 And no one should suppose that Lazarus promptly died again. 
The holy Gospel makes it clear that Jesus reclined at table and Lazarus 
reclined with him. Besides, I have found in traditions that Lazarus was 
thirty years old when he was raised. (7) And he lived another thirty years 
after < the Lord > raised him and then departed to the Lord. He lay down 
and fell asleep with a good name, and like us all, < awaits* > the hour of 
the resurrection when, as he promised, the Only-begotten will restore the 
body to the soul and the soul to the body and “reward every man accord- 
ing to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” 203 

38-39, 1 204 For if there were no resurrection of bodies, how could there 
be “gnashing of teeth?” 205 And don’t anyone make that halfwitted remark 
again, “Teeth are made for us to chew with; what food will we eat after 
the resurrection of the dead?” (2) If Jesus ate again after his resurrection, 
and [took] “a piece of a broiled fish and an honeycomb,” 206 and lived with 

201 Holl: EToXpioxv; MSS: evojucte, “expected to.” 

202 John 11:5. 

203 2 Cor 5:10. 

204 Numbered as in Holl. 

205 Matt 8:12. 

206 Luke 24:42. 



his disciples for forty days, will there be no food? (3) And as to food, it is 
plain that “Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of heaven.” 207 
And it is the Lord’s own promise that “Ye shall be seated at my Father’s 
table eating and drinking.” 208 (4) And what this eating and drinking is, is 
known to him alone, for “Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have 
entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for 
them that love him.” 209 

38-39,5 But now that we have reached this stage of describing the dif- 
ferences between souls, < we have explained* > — and on the authority of 
the truth itself and its perfect Example — that a man’s soul is one thing, 
and a beast’s is another. And Christ did not come to save the soul of the 
beast but the soul of the man, since beasts are not judged. (6) For human 
beings inherit the kingdom of heaven, and human beings are judged. 
“These shall go away into everlasting judgment and these to life eternal,” 210 
says the Only-begotten. 

40.1 And what do the people accomplish who go hunting for problems? 
Whenever they find them and do not grasp the interpretation of the text, 
they distress themselves by thinking of contradictions instead of looking 
for things that are of use to them — for Matthew says that there were two 
demoniacs, but Luke mentions one. 

40.2 And indeed, < besides this > one evangelist says that the thieves 
who were crucified with Jesus reviled him; but the other disagrees, and 
< not > only shows that both did not revile him, but gives the defense of 
the one. (3) For “He rebuked the other and said, Dost not thou fear God 
seeing that we are in the same condemnation? But this holy man hath 
done nothing < amiss >.” And he exclaimed besides, “Jesus, remember me 
when thou comest into thy kingdom.” And the Savior told him, “Verily 
I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” 211 

40,4 These things make it seem that there is disagreement in the scrip- 
ture. But it is all smooth. (5) Even if there are two demoniacs in Matthew 
the same ones are to be found in Luke. Since it is the scripture’s way to 
give the causes of events, Luke mentions not the two, but only the one, 
for the following reason. (6) There were two men healed of demon posses- 
sion, but one persevered in the faith while the other came to grief. And so, 

207 Luke 14:15. 

208 Luke 22:30. 

209 1 Cor 2:9. 

210 Matt 25:46. 

211 Luke 23:40-43. 



because of his perseverance in the faith, he followed Jesus “whithersoever 
he went,” 212 as the Gospel says. This is why Luke omitted the one thief and 
mentioned the one who is in the kingdom of heaven. And nothing can be 
contrary to the true interpretation. 

41.1 But the Gospel now gives another reason, similar to this instance, 
[for speaking of more than one person] as though of one. The Lord had 
cleansed ten lepers and the nine had gone away without giving glory to 
God. But the one had turned back and remained — the one who was also 
commended by the Lord, as he said, “Ten lepers were cleansed. Why hath 
not one of them returned to give glory to God save only this stranger?” 213 
(2) And you see that, because of this man’s perceptiveness and his demon- 
stration of gratitude, the Gospel mentions the one in place of the ten. It is 
a comparable case, since the same evangelist spoke of the thieves. 

41,3 For we are accustomed to speak of singulars in the plural, and plu- 
rals in the singular. We say, “We have told you,” and, “We have seen you,” 
and, “We have come to you,” and there are not two people speaking, but 
the one who is present. And yet by customary usage the one says this 
in the plural, in the person of many. (4) Thus the Gospel’s 214 narrative 
included [many persons] by its use of the plural, but the other [Gospel] 
tells us that one was the blasphemer, but that the confessed and attained 

41,5 And you see that all parts of the truth are plain, and there is no 
contradiction in the scripture. (6) But I suppose I’ve made my statement 
of the argument lengthy by going over all this scriptural material. Let me 
wear myself out by the time the argument takes, but confound < the > 
truth’s < opponents* > and, with the truth’s healing remedies, bring joy 
to her sons. 

42.1 Next, let’s look at the scum’s other teachings. He claims that the 
two Testaments contradict each other, 215 and that the god who spoke 
in the Law is different from the God of the Gospel. 216 The former god 
he terms “the archon”; but in the latter case, < where he posits a good 

212 Cf. Luke 8:38; 9:57. 

213 Luke 17:17-18. 

214 I.e., Matthew’s. 

215 Man. Ps. 57,11-14 “[He] cries out in the Law saying: I am God . . . who then led Adam 
astray and crucified the Savior?” 

216 Cf. Asmussen p. 14 (M 28 I, R If 24-26; V I, 32-34; MM II p. 314), “If he (Adonay) is 
the Lord of everything, why did he crucify the Son?” 



God, he calls him Father, just as the Son* > says that his < Father* > is a 
good God. 

And if he would only tell the truth, and not blaspheme himself by mis- 
take! (2) We ourselves agree with the same proposition, that the good 
Offspring of a good Father — light of light, God of God, very God of very 
God — has come to us in order to save us. “He came unto his own” property, 
not someone else’s, “< and > his own received him not. (3) But as many 
as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, who 
were born, not of blood, nor of flesh, but of God.” 217 (4) And yet, surely 
no one in the world has been born without flesh and blood; all people are 
flesh and blood. What were they before they were born in the flesh, or 
what can we do without flesh? (5) But since the world is God’s creation 
and we are creatures of flesh and born of fathers and mothers, the Lord 
came to beget us “of Spirit and of fire.” 218 

For we have been born, and that is true, and no one can deny his first 
birth, or that he is made of flesh. (6) But our second birth is not of flesh or 
blood, that is, it is not by the commerce of flesh and blood. In the Spirit we 
have gained a flesh and soul that are no longer carnal, but are blood, flesh 
and soul in a spiritual union. (7) In other words, “To them gave he power 
to become the sons of God” 219 — those who had been converted, and had 
pleased God with flesh, blood and soul. 

42,8 Thus He who came to “his own” is no stranger, but is Lord of all. 
And this is why he says, “Lo, here am I that speak in the prophets.” And he 
told the Jews, “Had ye believed Moses ye would have believed me; for he 
wrote of me”; 220 and, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day, and he 
sawit and was glad”; 221 (9) and, “Thus did your fathers unto the prophets”; 222 
and, “Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and say all manner of evil 
against you falsely. Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven. 
For so persecuted they the prophets before you.” 223 And in another pas- 
sage he says, “Jerusalem, that killest the prophets and stonest them that 
are sent, how often would I have gathered thy children?” 224 

217 John 1:11-13. 

218 Cf. Matt 3:11. 

219 John 1:12. 

220 John 5:46. 

221 John 8:56. 

222 Cf. Luke 6:23. 

223 Matt 5:11-12. 

224 Matt 23:27. 



42,10 Now the words, “how often” show that he had taken care to 
“gather” Jerusalem through his prophets. For if he says “killing the proph- 
ets” in reproof, then he cares for the prophets. But in caring for the proph- 
ets he was not caring for strangers, but his own. (11) He says, “And the 
blood that has been shed shall be required, from the blood of Abel unto 
that of the righteous Zacharias, which was shed between the temple and 
the altar.” 225 

< And see how he cares for the temple as well; in another passage he 
says* >, (12) “And he took them all away, and overthrew the tables of 
the money-changers, and said, Make not my Father’s house an house of 
merchandise.” 226 And to Mary and Joseph he said, “Why is it that ye sought 
me? Wist ye not that I must be in my Father’s house?” 227 And the Gospel 
is quick to add, “Make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise,” 
as it says, “And the disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of 
thine house hath eaten me up.” 228 (43,1) And how much there is to say, in 

< words > such as these of the* > Gospels and Apostles, in refutation and 

< rebuttal > of Mani’s madness, with his desire to divide and separate the 
Old Testament from the New, even though the Old Testament testifies to 
the Savior and the Savior acknowledges the Old Testament. 

43,2 And not only that, but the Savior testifies that he is the son of 
David, as he says, 229 “The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right 
hand. If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?” 230 (3) And again in 
another passage, when the children cried Hosannah to the son of David 
and “He did not rebuke them” — < and when > the Pharisees say, “Hearest 
thou not what these say? Bid them be silent,” he replies, “If these were 
silent, the stones would have cried out.” 231 (4) For he is David’s son in the 
flesh but David’s Lord in the Spirit, and both statements are cogent and 
accurate. There is no falsity < in > the truth. 

43,5 But so as not to lengthen this argument I shall content myself 
with these texts and go on to the others, for the scum’s full refutation. 
If the body belongs to one god, Mister, and the soul belongs to another, 

225 Cf. Luke 11:50-51; Act. Arch 32.6. 

226 Matt 23:27. 

227 John 2:16. 

228 John 2:17. 

229 Holl eauTov ulov AauiS SpapaToupyouvxop, cop Xsyei AauiS, MSS ou povov, dW.dc xai oi 
owrdaroXoi, cop Aiysi AauiS. 

230 Matt 22:44-45. At Aug. C. Fort. 19 Fortunatus calls attention to the apparent discrep- 
ancy between the Davidic sonship and the Virgin Birth; cf. Aug. C. Fort. 22.1. 

231 Cf. Luke 19:39-40. 



what association can the two have? (6) And I am afraid that this modest 
person’s small mind is trying to peer into some pretty deep thoughts. So 
I shall hold myself in check in order not to give heavy reading to persons 
who can refute the cheat completely with one item of evidence. (7) Com- 
mon partnership is not to be found in those who differ, but is the work 
of one friend or the business of two. Now if the body and the soul are 
together, this is the work of one God. For there is no distinction, since 
both work duly together and are in agreement. 

43,8 But if, after eating the soul as Mani claims, the archons made this 
body as a prison for it, how can they lock it up in a body again after it is 
eaten? Whatever is eaten is consumed, and whatever is consumed also 
passes into non-existence. But something that passes into non-existence 
is no more and is not enclosed in any place; there neither is, nor can be, 
a prison for it if it does not exist. 

44.1 But Mani often loses track of his own notion, forgets what he 
has said, and unknowingly again breaks down what he once built up. He 
sometimes claims that the soul has been eaten < and has vanished, even 
though* > he declares that it is shut up in the bodies that presently exist. 
But sometimes he decides that it has been snatched from on high from 
the good God’s armor by the archons, so that it has not been eaten yet but 
is being held prisoner. 

44.2 But at times he says in disagreement with this that the soul has 
been taken prisoner and < defeated* >, but tells the same story in a differ- 
ent way, (3) claiming that it has been set out as bait, of its own free will, 
by the power on high 232 — like a kid thrown into a pit to catch a beast of 
prey, which is excited and leaps down get the kid, < and thus* > the beast 
itself is caught. 

44,4 Now suppose that the power on high — that is, the good God, or 
the "light,” as Mani calls it — did send the “kid,” < a bit of > its own power. 
In the first place, even if he catches the beast, the kid will be eaten up in 
the meantime. And rather [than helping itself], the power on high will 
harm itself by offering part of itself as food for the beast, to catch the beast 
with the part it sees fit to lose. (5) And it will no longer conquer the beast 
because of its power and supremacy, and the might of its reason and will; 

232 Man. Ps. 9,31-10,7, "Like unto a shepherd that shall see a lion coming to destroy his 
sheep-fold: for he uses guile and takes a lamb and sets it as a snare that he may catch him 
by it; for by a single lamb he saves his sheep-fold. After these things he heals the lamb that 
has been wounded by the lion: this too is the way of the Father, who sent his strong son.” 
And cf. Act. Arch. 28.2. 



to enable itself to master the beast it employs all sorts of schemes, and 
plays the knave. (6) And even if the beast is caught, the good God will still 
have lost the kid that got eaten, from a part of himself — assuming that he 
can catch the beast at all. 

44,7 For if the power on high sent the soul here to catch and bind the 
principalities and authorities, he has not achieved the goal he planned on. 
(8) Even though he sent the soul to catch, it has been caught. Although he 
sent it to trap, it has been trapped. For it came from a pure essence and 
was subjected, first to the prison of the material body, and then to many 
enormities of sins. And the fraud’s argument, and the offender’s teaching, 
fail in every respect. 

45,1 Now then, let’s see too about Mother of Life. Mani says that she 
too was emitted < from the > power < on high >, and that Mother of Life 
herself < emitted > both First Man < and > the five elements which, as 
he says, are wind, light, water, fire and matter. (2) Putting these on as 
battle gear, First Man went below and made war on the darkness. But 
during their battle with him the archons of darkness ate part of his armor, 
that is, the soul. 

45,3 What low comedy on the scum’s part! What < efforts > to prove an 
unintelligible joke and an absurd story! 233 Mani is positively attributing 
powerlessness to God, absolutely ascribing ignorance to God the omni- 
scient! (4) For the God who emitted Mother of Life, as Mani says, is to be 
blamed either for not knowing what would be produced from Mother of 
Life, or for not knowing that the events which occurred contrary to his 
expectation < had* > turned out other than < he thought they would* >. 
(5) For whoever expects things to happen, but finds that something else 
has happened later against his wishes, must be charged with ignorance. 

45,6 For Mother of Life, whom Mani calls a power, < is born of God* > 
as his emanation, something it is “a shame even to say.” 234 No one of 
sound mind can suppose that there is anything female in the Godhead. 
(7) But this female too, says Mani, emitted First Man < and the five ele- 
ments as a mother bears a child >. And in a word, Mani imagines the First 
Man < he speaks of >, 235 and Mother of Life, in terms of our experience. 
For by “man” we mean [the first man] on earth, and by the “mother < of 
life >” 236 who bore us, the woman God created for Adam. 

233 Holl EmyEipvjpaxa, MSS xd Eirixeipci. 

234 Eph 5:12. 

235 Holl ov qjvjcrlv, MSS xvjv (puorv. 

236 Holl xvjp MSS e x xvjp 



45,8 But, based on his own thinking, the oaf imagines that there are 
the same sorts of thing in heaven that there are on earth — though as the 
sacred scripture everywhere teaches, this cannot be. (9) For scripture 
says, “There are celestial bodies and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the 
celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” 237 And < the 
apostle > had not yet given any description of the things above the heav- 
ens, but only of these visible things, which are body — I mean < the bod- 
ies of > the sun or moon, or the creatures on earth and the bodies of the 
saints — or so, with all humility, I suppose. (10) I have no way of deciding 
whether, because of the apostle’s profound capacity for knowledge, there 
was also to be a discussion < of > the realms above the heavens. But in 
any case it has been said that < heavenly things > are very < different > 
from earthly; how much more the things above the heavens? < All right >, 
Mister, how can they be compared with things on earth? 

46,1 And what else can you be doing but < imagining* > First Man < as 
well* > — who, you say in turn, made wind, light, fire, water and matter 
for his armor < to fight with the darkness* >? (2) If First Man is from on 
high, and yet has come here in order to make his armor 238 and emit it to 
protect and strengthen himself, then the things that are in this world must 
be more powerful than the one who came down < from > the heavens. 
(3) For “water” is the water we can see, “light” is visible light, “matter” is 
‘what you claim is in decay; “wind” is what sounds in our ears, and “fire” 
is this fire which we use every day for our needs. 

46,4 And if he battles the archons with such things, tell us, what gets 
the battle started? Who is to be our commanding officer and blow the 
trumpet? Should we break through the ranks, should we combine to 
oppose the wings? (5) Who should cast the first spear — going by the rav- 
ing maniac’s < talk > — at the stuff of the archons and authorities? (6) Does 
the wind fight, Mister? Does matter, which you say is in decay? Does fire, 
which the Lord has made for our use? Does light, which gives way to 
darkness at the successive intervals ordained by God? Does water? How? 
Explain your vaporings! 

237 1 Cor 15:40. 

238 Epiphanius assumes that First Man must obtain the elements from the earth. 
Manichean teachings make these elements heavenly: Keph. 69,27-31, “At this very same 
time the First Man drew near to his clothing, the shining gods, and spoke with them, 
(saying) that he would surrender them ... He [appeared] to them and made them aware 
of everything ... He clothed himself with them and put them in order . . .” 



46,7 In fact we see that, really, [both] good and evil deeds are done with 
these elements. Sacrifices are offered to idols by fire, and the fire does not 
object, or prevent the sin. Daemon-worshipers pour libations of sea water, 
and no one attempting folly with water has ever been stopped. (8) How 
many pirates have committed murders with sea water? If anything, water 
is not opposed to the archons of wickedness, as you call them. Instead, 
water is their ally, though the water is not responsible; every human being 
is responsible for his own sin. And how much you talk! 

46, g What good did manufacturing armor and wearing a breastplate 
made of the elements do your First Man, he who came down to fight and 
was swamped by the darkness? For you claim that the Man was oppressed 
there below. (10) But the Father heard his prayer 239 you say, and sent 
another power he had emitted, called Living Spirit. (11) Raise your mask, 
Menander, you comedian! That is what you are, but you conceal yourself 
while you recite the deeds of adulterers and drink. For you say nothing 
original — you mislead your dupes by introducing the Greeks’ works of 
fiction in place of the truth. (12) Hesiod, with his stories of the theogony, 
probably had more sense than you, and Orpheus, and Euripides. Even 
though they told ridiculous stories, it is plain that they are poets and made 
things up that were not real. But to compound the error, you tell them as 
though they were. 

47,1 You claim that this Living Spirit came below, offered his right 
hand, and drew your so-called First Man out of the darkness, he being 
in danger below in the depths — he who had descended to save the soul 240 
when it had been eaten, and could not save it but fell into danger himself. 
(2) Though he was sent on a mission of rescue he was endangered, and 
someone else was needed to be sent to his rescue! (3) How much more 
endangered must the soul be when the First Man, when he came, was 
endangered on its account? 

But there was a second messenger sent to the rescue, which you say was 
Living Spirit. (4) Did the Father change his mind, then, and send some- 
one still more powerful to be the savior of First Man? Or was he at first 
unaware that First Man lacked the power, and did he think that he would 
save the soul? < But > did he find this out by experience later when First 

239 Keph. 38,32-39,2, "He bowed his [knee as he prayed] to the God of truth and all the 
aeons of light who belong to the house of his people and as he petitioned for a power to 
accompany him when he would withdraw . . .” 

240 Keph. 76,34-36, “Again (the First Man) [is like a man] whose two sons have been 
taken from him . . . [he] came to them to save them.” 



Man fell into danger, and emit [Living Spirit] and send [him]? (5) What 
a lot of nonsense, Mani! Your silly statement of your whole teaching is 
incoherent gibberish. 

47.6 Lie claims in turn that Spirit descended, offered his right hand, 
and drew the endangered First Man up. Because of this mystery he taught 
his disciples to offer their right hands when they meet as a sign, as though 
they have been saved from darkness. (7) For he says that everything, with 
the sole exception of himself, is in darkness. Well, to make a joke, blind 
men avoid bad words better than the sighted, and see a great deal by 

48,1 And next, to make other devices and furnishings for us, Mani 
claims — as though he had been there, though he is imagining things with 
no existence — that this Living Spirit then made the world. Clothed with 
three powers himself he too descended, brought the archons up, and cru- 
cified them in the firmament, which is their < body >, the sphere. (2) And 
yet the oaf does not realize how he contradicts himself with his “brought 
them up,” and how he finds fault with things he commends and makes 
the things he finds fault with commendable — like a drunkard who goes 
staggering around and babbling one thing after another. 

48,3 For he claims that the archons in the darkness below are made 
of evil stuff, and that < the realms below* > are the place of corruption. 
(4) Now if, when Spirit forcibly brought the archons up from this corrup- 
tion and dark realm to < the > heights — as a punishment, if you please! — 
if he brought about their departure from evil places and drew them aloft 
for a punishment, the realms above cannot be good, and made of the stuff 
of life. They must be made of the stuff of death; and the realms below 
cannot be a punishment, but must be of a nature somehow good. (5) And 
because Spirit meant to move the archons as a punishment, as a way of 
punishing them he took them from pleasant, familiar places to a place of 

48.6 And here is a different argument. If Spirit made the world, why 
do you say, on the contrary, that the world was not made by God? And 
if the firmament is the archons’ body, to which cross did Spirit fasten the 
archons? For you sometimes say that they are fastened in the firmament, 
but sometimes declare that the firmament itself is their body. 241 (7) And 

241 Cf. Bar Khoni at Pognon p. 188, “Alors 1 ’Esprit ordonna a ses trois fils que 1 ’un tuat, 
que I'autre ecorchat les Archontes, fils des tenebres, et qu’ils amenassent a la Mere de la 
Vie. La Mere de la Vie tendit le ciel de leurs peaux; elle fit onze cieux, et ils jeterent leurs 
corps sur la tierre de tenebres.” 



your arguments show a great inconsistency, with no correspondence with 
the truth. < You are defeated* > everywhere you have assailed us — assailed 
yourself, rather, and those who have adopted your opinion. 

49.1 Then in turn the same man says that after crucifying the archons 
in the sphere Spirit made the luminaries, which are remnants of the soul. 
(2) What confused doctrine, and what false and incoherent statements! 
Any “remnant” is a part of a whole, but the whole is larger than the rem- 
nant. (3) If, then, the luminaries are the remnants Mani should show us 

< something > larger than the luminaries, so that we can see the soul! 
(4) But if the whole has been eaten and consumed, and the luminaries 
are its remnants, since they are beneath the crucified archons they will get 
eaten too, because the archons have the position on top. (5) But if they 
can no longer remain in possession of the soul and luminaries because of 
being crucified, then, Mani, your silly account is wrong! 

49,6 Then in turn the same man teaches that after rebuking the Porter, 
Matter created all growing things for herself. And when they were sto- 
len by the archons the great archon called all the archons and the chief 
of them, took one power apiece from them, made a man in First Man’s 
image and imprisoned the soul in him. This is the reason for the combina- 
tion [of soul and body]. (7) But Living Father is kind and merciful, says 
Mani, and sent his beloved Son to the soul’s rescue when he saw the soul 
oppressed in the body. For Mani claims that he was sent for this reason, 
and because of the Porter. (8) And on his arrival the Son changed himself 
into the likeness of a man and appeared to men as a man, and men sup- 
posed that he had been begotten [like a man], (g) Thus he came and did 
the creating which was intended for men’s salvation, and made a device 
with twelve water jars, which is turned by the sphere and draws up the 
souls of the dying. And the greater luminary takes these with its rays, and 
purifies them, and transfers them to the moon; and this is how what we 
call the moon’s orb becomes full. 

50.1 And do you see how much there is of this charlatan’s silly nonsense 
and drunken forgetfulness? For he consigns his own words to oblivion, 
whatever he seems to say he revises and reverses, demolishing his own 
doctrines by describing them in a whole series of different ways. His later 
teachings destroy his earlier ones and he rebuilds the things he originally 
demolished, (2) as though to show that they are not his own but that, 
like the delirious, he is driven by an unclean spirit to tell one story after 

50,3 For he either means that the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ 

< came before the creation of the stars, or that the stars were made long 



after the creation of the world. But it is obvious* > that the advent came 
many years after the creation of the luminaries and the thing Mani calls 
the “device” of the twelve water jars. (4) The stars have been in the sky 
ever since their creation. Whether they prefer to call them “elements” or 
“intervals and measurements of the sky,” they have all been put in place 
since the fourth day of creation, “well,” and not to the harm of God’s sub- 
jects. (5) But Christ’s advent < came* > in the fifteenth year of Tiberius 
Caesar. < For* > he began his preaching < at this point* >, thirty years after 
his birth, coincidentally with the 5509th year of creation and the thirtieth 
of his age — [and] until the crucifixion in his thirty-third year. 

50,6 Now [if Christ came and made them], why were these in the sky 
from the beginning, the luminaries and stars? But if he says that Christ 
came before this to make them, his nonsense is confused. What he calls 
elements, and the twelve “water jars” as he futilely terms them, and the 
“device” by which 242 he wants to deceive his dupes with nice names, were 
made before man was on earth. 

51,1 For it is plain to anyone with sense, from the scripture itself and 
its sequence, that all the stars and luminaries were made on the fourth 
day of creation, before the making of Adam the first man. (2) But Mani 
says, “He came in the form of a man to make the twelve water jars, and 
appeared to men < as > a man.” Since he does not even know God’s origi- 
nal provision he thinks he has something to say. Like a blind man serv- 
ing as his own guide he tells the people he has blinded whatever lies are 
handy. (3) But when the truth arrives and opens < up > the eyes of the 
wise, it makes a joke of his nonsense. To which men did Christ “appear” 
when there weren’t any? How could he “appear in the form of a man if he 
didn’t take a body?” (4) And if he did things during his advent in the flesh, 
when he “appeared” to be a man but wasn’t one, the things he did were an 
appearance. In that case he neither appeared nor came! 

51,5 For if he was not real when he came, neither did he come at the 
beginning. If he was supposed to be a man but was not a man, what 
impelled God’s Word to appear as a man when he was not one? Unless 
he was being hounded by money-lenders, and wanted to disguise himself 
so as to get away from his creditors! (6) But if he indeed appeared and yet 
wasn’t there, what sort of "truth” was this? There can be no lie in truth, 
as the Only-begotten says of himself, “I am the truth and the life.” 243 But 

242 Holl Si rji;, MSS vjv. 

243 John 14:6. 



life cannot die and the truth cannot be subject to change, or it would 
jumble the truth up and no longer be truth. (7) And Mani’s dramatic piece 
is a failure for every reason. Neither were the stars created after Christ’s 
advent, nor were there human beings before the creation of the stars. And 
as I have just shown, the fraud Mani is confounded, both by the latter fact 
and by the former. 

52.1 But on the subject of the moon, he says that its orb is filled with 
souls. Now how could the moon’s orb get full before anyone on earth had 
died? How could the one soul, the first person to die after the nine hun- 
dred and thirtieth year of Adam’s life, 244 fill the moon’s orb? (2) Or why 
were the 930 years also called “< the > times,” if the moon did not wax, 
wane and run its appointed course, not by being flooded with souls but 
by God’s command because it had the ordinance of his wisdom? (3) But 
Mani says that all living things are filled with the same soul — thus equat- 
ing the souls of a man, a mouse, a worm, and the other bodies the origins 
of which are nasty. 

52,4 But now for the rest of his nonsense. [When he says] how the 
virgin appears to the archons, sometimes in the shape of a man but some- 
times in that of a woman, he is probably describing the passions of his 
own lusts and reflecting his daemon’s hermaphrodism. (5) Then he says 
that when the chief archon is robbed by the so-called virgin he emits his 
clouds, causes pestilence and begins cutting the roots, and thus the result 
is death. (6) And yet the oaf has not seen that what he disparagingly calls 
“death” should rather be called “life,” because of deliverance from bodies 
of the soul. (7) But if the archons have any inkling that the soul’s residence 
in a body is an imprisonment, the chief archon will never do such a thing 
as to release the soul, which Mani claims he holds captive, from prison. 
And how much absurdity is there in this tricky teaching? 

53.1 But their other complete absurdities, such as their so-called “elect.” 245 
They have been “chosen,” all right — by the devil for condemnation, in 
fulfillment of the words of scripture, “and his choice meats.” 246 (2) For 
they are drones who sit around and “work not, but are busybodies,” 247 

244 Epiphanius overlooks, for the moment, the death of Cain. 

245 Keph. 166,4-9, “At the time when I leave the world and enter the house of my 
people, all my elect will be drawn to me, and I will gather them in that place, and draw 
each one of them to me at the time of their departure. I will not leave one of them in the 

246 Hab 1:16. 

247 2 Thes 3:11. 



“knowing < neither what they say nor whereof they affirm* >.” 248 The holy 
apostle denounces them because of his prophetic knowledge that certain 
idle, stubbornly evil persons will be making their rounds, 249 not by God’s 
teaching but because the devil has made them crack-brained. (3) < For >to 
give a parody of the occupation of these idlers he says, “If any does not 
work, neither let him eat!” 

53,4 Manicheans instruct their catechumens to feed 250 these people 
generously. They offer their elect all the necessities of life, so that < who- 
ever > gives sustenance to elect souls may appear supposedly pious. 

(5) But silly as it is to say, after receiving their food the elect all but put 
a curse on the givers under the pretense of praying for them, by testify- 
ing to their wickedness rather than their goodness. For they say: “I did 
not sow you. I did not reap you. / did not knead you. / did not put you 
into the oven. Someone else brought you to me and I eat. I am guiltless.” 

(6) And if anything, they have stigmatized as evildoers the persons who 
feed them — which, indeed, is true. No one who denies that God is the 
maker of all should take nourishment from God’s creatures < except > as 
an ironical gesture. 

53,7 The elect do not cut the cluster themselves but they eat the clus- 
ter, which shows them up as out-and-out drunkards rather than persons 
with a grasp of the truth. (8) For which is the worse? The harvester cut the 
cluster once, but the eater tormented and cut it many times over, with his 
teeth and by the crushing of each seed, and there can be no comparison 
between the one who cut it once and the one who chewed and crushed it. 
(9) < But they do this* > only to give the appearance of < abstaining from 
God’s creatures* >, < while proving by their* > phony behavior how much 
evidence of the truth Mani has. 

54,1 Then again he speaks impudently of Paradise, which is what he 
says the world is. The trees in it are < evils* >, he says — for anything we 
approve of, he denies, to show that he is truly the serpent’s dupe. Just 
as the horrid serpent corrupted the ear of the blameless Eve, so also he 
corrupts the ears of Mani. (2) For Mani says that what we call trees in 

248 1 Tim 1:7. 

249 Manichean sources indicate that the behavior of the elect sometimes gave scandal; 
cf. the chapter, ‘The Catechumen Who Found Fault with the Elect (and Asked) Why He 
Was Irritable,” Keph. 219,2-221,7. Augustine portrays the elect as unpleasant people at Mor. 
Man. 2.29-31. 

250 Keph. 189,6-11, “He who shall [give] bread and a cup of water to one of my disciples 
in God’s name, in the name of the truth I have revealed, he shall become great before God 
and surpass the four great kingdoms in their greatness." 



Paradise are the deceits of lusts, which corrupt men’s reason. But the tree 
in Paradise whereby they learn to know the good is Jesus himself, the 
knowledge in the world. And anyone who takes that fruit can tell good 
from evil. 

54.3 And you see how he perverts everything that is right, although 
the apostle expressly and emphatically teaches, “I fear lest by any means, 
as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should 
be corrupted from the simplicity and innocence that is in Christ.” 251 And 
see how he pronounced him a fraud and villain, and the deceiver of Eve. 
(4) And once more, in another passage the same apostle says, “A man 
ought not to have long hair, forasmuch as he is the glory and image of 
God.” 252 And you see how he called hair the glory of God, though it is 
grown on the body and not in the soul. (5) And afterwards he says, “Adam 
was not deceived, but the woman sinned by falling into transgression. 
Notwithstanding, she shall be saved by childbearing, if they continue in 
the faith.” 253 And see how the real truth is proclaimed in the sacred scrip- 
ture, while Mani makes futile boasts — or rather, makes himself ridiculous 
in the eyes of persons of sound mind. 

54,6 Then again he explains here that the world is not God’s but has 
been made from a part of matter. But because he is not consistent, but 
goes back and forth plastering over the places he builds up and pulls down, 
it is plain to everyone that this sort of doctrine is the doctrine of a fool. 

55,1 He describes transmigrations of souls from body to body, plainly 
borrowing this lie from Plato, Zeno the Stoic, or some other victim of delu- 
sion. (2) For how can the soul get into one body from another? If bod- 
ies came ready-made and received souls in this condition, his pompous 
fiction would have some plausibility. (3) But since the embryo develops 
from a tiny drop, how did the soul find such a broad passage into so small 
a body? For this is how bodies are formed; what Mani says cannot be 

55.4 Neither do souls migrate from body to body; no body is formed 
in any living thing without the intercourse of female with male and male 
with female. Now, is this the way the soul has come to be, to climax the 
tramp’s theater piece with the union of two bodies? And people who even 
think such things are very strange. 

251 2 Cor 11:3. 

252 1 Cor 11:7. 

253 1 Tim 2:14-15. 

28 o 


55,5 But not to alter things that deserve respect, I am content just to 
give a glimpse of the subject, as though from a distance. I shall pass on 
from such a degrading idea; all suppositions of this sort are outrageous. 
(6) For if there is a migration of souls from body to body, and someone 
who was once a man later < becomes > a dog, why isn’t a dog born from a 
man or an ox? Why isn’t a bird? If indeed it should be that some monster 
is born during the immensely long course of history, this happens for a 
sign. (7) Even nature knows its own boundaries and does not change a 
man’s nature and make him, contrary to nature, into something else. Nor 
does it change the nature of any beast; the same kind is born of each kind. 
(8) And if a different kind of body is never born from a body, how much 
more does a human soul not migrate into a different body? 

55,9 And why is the body changed, does he say? So that, if it did not 
have the knowledge of the truth while it was in a man, it will be born in 
a dog or horse and disciplined 254 and return to a human body knowing 
the truth, (10) and be taken up into the moon’s orb now that it has come 
to knowledge. And it is amazing to see that the soul was ignorant when 
it was born in a man although men have schools, grammarians, soph- 
ists, innumerable trades, and speech, hearing, and reason — but rather, it 
came to knowledge when it was born in a pig! This shows that, if anything, 
Mani’s promise of knowledge is for pigs, because of his imposture and 

56.1 As to Adam’s creation, Mani gives a substitute version and inter- 
weaves it with error. He says that the person who said, “Let us make man 
in our image and after our likeness,” 255 < is the archon, who said it to the 
other archons* >. And Mani adds to this by saying, “Come, let us make 
man,” which is not the text, but, “Let us make man in our image and after 
our likeness.” 

56.2 But the holy apostle refutes him by saying, < “The man is the 
image and glory of God.”* > 256 So does the Lord himself, in the Gospel. 
The Pharisees told him that it is not good for a man to be by himself, and 
that Moses said he should give his wife a certificate of divorce and dismiss 
her. (3) And the Lord said to confute the Pharisees, “Moses wrote because 
of the hardness of your hearts. But from the beginning it was not so, 257 but 

254 A long passage at Keph. 249,1-250,30 explains that, if catechumens are not per- 
fected, their souls undergo transmigration as a remedial discipline. 

255 Gen 1:26. 

256 Holl assumes that the citation which has fallen out here is 1 Cor. 11:7. 

257 Matt 19:8. 



he which made them male and female” — and he said, “For this cause shall 
a man leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife, and they 
twain shall be one flesh.” (4) And he immediately adds, “What therefore 
God hath joined together, let not man put asunder,” 258 confessing that 
God, that is, his Father, had made Adam and Eve, and that lawful wedlock 
has been instituted by him. 

56,5 And the holy apostle, the herald of the truth, says in the same 
vein, ‘This is a great mystery, but I say it of Christ and the church,” 259 using 
the comparison < to confirm the truth oP > God’s creation of Adam and 
Eve* > — (6) < and confirm at the same time* > that God created < Eve* > 
and that Adam said, “This is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh, there- 
fore shall a man leave,” 260 < and so forth >. And God shaped his side into 
a wife for him. (7) And < the apostle says nothing else on the subject > 261 
that is different, but [simply], “ft is a great mystery.” And if < the apostle 
confirms the divine creation* > in the man and the woman and this is 
treated anagogically in an allegory, why does Mani, speaking blasphemy 
and ignoring the truth, suppose that God’s creatures are abominable and 
foreign to God’s truth, and < say that they were made* > by an archon? 

56,8 Next, he says, because the soul which had been torn away at the 
beginning was a source of distress to the power on high it sent someone, 
one time, and, through these luminaries, stole the remnant of itself — the 
soul, that is — from the archons. (g) What high hopes we have, and what a 
great expectation! God the good, living and mighty is powerless to save — 
never mind his own power which has been dragged away from him — he 
can’t save the creature he has made and fashioned! Ffe can’t save it except 
in some other way, or by the banditry of secretly stealing the power that 
has been torn away from him out of the heavens — or so the tramp says. 

57,1 But why am I still tiring myself by spending time on his absurdity 
in its exact wording? For instance, neither is the wretch ashamed to say 
blasphemously that the one who spoke in the Law and the Prophets was 
the archon of darkness. (2) How blessed our hopes are, since Christ came 
and compelled us to offer gifts to the archon of darkness! For after cleans- 
ing the leper < he commands > him to offer the gift which is prescribed in 
the Law by the very person who spoke in the Law. “Go and offer thy gift 

258 Matt 19:5-6. 

259 Eph 5:32. 

260 Gen 2:23-24. 

261 Holl ouxeti ETEpov 6 djt6crroXo? Eip auTo <paax£i, MSS ouxeti ETEpov auxcp (pdaxsi. 



as Moses commanded,” 262 says he to the leper he has cleansed. (3) In the 
case of leprosy the "gift” was a bird for a sacrifice, and fine flour for a burnt 
offering. (4) If the archon of darkness were < the God of the Law* >, the 
Word who came from on high — the Son of God who, as Mani says, came 
to turn humankind from the error of the archons — would not encourage 
the leper he had healed to become their subject. He would encourage him 
to escape instead, by teaching him not to do this. 

57,5 But he had not come to destroy the Law or < the > Prophets — he 
had given the Law himself — but to fulfill them, to show us himself that 
unwavering adherence to the Gospel is the fulfillment of the Law and the 
Prophets. For the prophets worshiped the same God, and the Law was 
given by him. Today, however, the worship is not offered to the same God 
with the same gifts; (6) God gave burdensome commands, as though to 
slaves, to the men of the Law, since in that way they would be able to 
obey. But to the men of the Gospel he gave lighter commands as though 
to free men, of the abundance of his loving kindness. (7) But since the 
God of the Law and the God of the Gospel are equivalent, and the worship 
of neither era has been abolished, this same God is one God, ruler of the 
entire world, worshiped by his servants — but worshiped in each genera- 
tion as befits his loving kindness. 

57,8 And Mani’s imposture is altogether refuted, since the Savior 
orders that the Law’s commandments be kept. And [then], after ordering 
the keeping of the Law’s commandments, he breaks the Law’s command- 
ments, not by destroying them but by fulfilling them. For in place of the 
Law’s commandments he orders that other sacrifices be offered to God, 
that is, those of piety, goodness, purity and ascetic discipline. 

58,1 But again, Mani claims that in the last days the Elder will come 
and make his image manifest; and then, when he sees his face, the porter 
will drop the earth and the eternal fire will consume the earth. (2) With- 
out noticing it the oaf was once again making the earth material, although 
he had said a while before that it was created by the Spirit of life. For 
simultaneously with this he supposes that the whole world will be con- 
sumed by fire. 

58,3 And then, he says, after this, the restoration to unity of the two 
natures will pass on to the original condition. What a lot of trouble, and 
after the trouble nothing contributing to improvement! (4) For if every- 
thing is to be used up and consumed after it has been created and has 

262 Luke 5:14. 



come into being, so that the originals of the two natures, the good and 
the evil, will remain as they were, this will again be a provocation for the 
evil nature to come back, start a war and seize some more power, so that 
another world will once more be generated. 

58,5 But if this is not yet the case, then evil is going to learn sense and 
not be provoked at goodness any more; and [so is] the evil god, who will 
declare no more wars on the good God. (6) But if indeed he will ever be 
taught sense he will no longer be evil, since after his alteration he has been 
changed from his original evil nature. But if indeed the evil god’s nature is 
at all changeable, this is surely because it gets changed from evil to good. 
And the nature which can be changed to goodness cannot be evil. For evil 
can be changed to good even today, and while the world is still going on. 
(7) And if he is to be changed, why is he not changed already? And if the 
evil god is changed by God’s contrivance so that he can no longer do evil, 
the evil god cannot be responsible for himself. The responsibility must lie 
with the good God, since he is capable of suppressing the bad god’s evil 
but will not to do before its time a work whose time has been fixed. 

58,8 However, if evil is altogether unchangeable it can never stop war- 
ring and being warred on, and there can never be a restoration of the two 
natures. Evil will remain unchanged, and be provoked into doing evil to 
the good and declaring war on goodness. 

58, g And yet, if evil is always troubled by some desire for the good, it 
cannot be evil. 263 In its yearning for the good it desires to draw the good 
to itself, so that, by acquiring power from the nature of the good and its 
armor, it can feel it is honoring, illuminating, emboldening and strength- 
ening itself. (10) For < the* > notion < of the good* > is surely present in 
anyone who wants the good, because he expects 264 to be benefited* > by 
good < itselP >. And evil cannot be altogether evil since it is found to be 
yearning for the good. For anything evil is hostile to the good, just as the 
good has no desire for evil. 

58,11 But if the power is made of both principles jumbled together, and 
the good God can steal what belongs to him, and can attack the principali- 
ties and authorities and flay them — can sometimes destroy and do away 
with the matter made by the evil god, sometimes make things from it but 
sometimes do away with it — then < there can be no difference between 

263 A similar argument is found at Alex. Lycop. 9 and Tit. Bost. Man. 1.17. 

264 Holl < atiTou ctchMj aaaSai > fmovoET, <v]toO ayc(0oO>, MSS dya0ou uitovofa? tyxeirai 



good* > and evil. And< the > stream of chatter the offender has inflicted 
on us < will be found to be > wickedness, and incapable of proof. 

59.1 Come on, buddy, speak up! Take up your account of the nature of 
evil again and tell us-you who arrived in the Emperor Aurelian’s time, and 
yet are describing what was before all ages, though no prophet ever fore- 
told this, and neither the Savior himself nor any of the apostles taught it. 
Unless you play the fool by writing yourself and palming off some forged 
books in the names of saints. 265 Tell us where you come from, you with 
your primordial principle of evil! 

5g,2 If I ask him whether he claims that this principle is changeable 
or unchangeable, < he talks incoherent nonsense* >. But I have already 
been told that he describes it [both] as [altogether] changeless, and as 
changeable at some times but not changeable at others — [that is], not 
changeable to evil but changeable to good — so that he earns the world’s 
contempt with the two statements. (3) For if evil was changeless over 
immense ages, and had only this very name and no other name but "evil,” 
who changed the changeless nature of evil many ages later, into some- 
thing which was not suitable to it? 

5g,4 For who made it change, if it had not yet seized power and gone 
to war, and if it had not yet taken armor to strengthen itself and for food, 
but had gone for many ages without food or the need of food — [who 
made] this thing that had never needed food begin to eat, seek what it 
had never sought, need what it had never needed? 

5g,5 But if it was changed in nature, what proof can there be of the 
changelessness of evil that you teach? And even if he reverted to his nor- 
mal condition when he found nothing more to eat, how could a wicked 
or evil [god] bear to go on without food for all time to come, once he had 
become used to eating and having food? (6) For if, when he was not used 
to eating, he could not bear it, but acquired the new habit of eating and 
got the soul for his food by stealing it, he will be the more ungovernable 
when he is used to foods. And once he has become greedy and acquainted 
with food, nothing could induce him to go on without these things, as 
your unprovable claim would have it. 

60.1 But I shall pass this by, and once more extend the discussion to 
other parts of his nonsense. Once again, he claims that the archons will 
be in their own territory then, (i.e., at the restoration) and the Father will 

265 I.e., the Acts of Thomas. Cf. Aug. C. Faust. 27.9; Adim. 17.2.5; Serm. Dom. Mont. 
1.20.65; Cyr. Cat 4.36; 6.31. 



regain his own. (2) Now who is this person so equitable that he can survey 
the boundary of each territory from either side? Why will [the bad god] 
heed [him] when he did not heed the truth and the good God at the out- 
set? If it is by force that the good God is to prevail on the lawbreaker to 
be content with his own and not encroach on the good God’s portion, why 
couldn’t he do this in the first place, before the area was stolen at all? 

60.3 But why will the two co-exist, each with his respective posses- 
sions? If God has any territory, and the other territory is not his, the 
Almighty cannot be called almighty or God of all. Nor can the evil god be 
subject to the good God; each one has his own realm. 266 

60.4 But then, of what can the evil god be the master, when there is 
still no world, and no animals or people under his sway? And if he is 
evil at all, and matter and corruption, why hasn’t he decayed? If evil has 
always been corruption, and corrupts other things but not itself, it cannot 
be in decay — not when it corrupts other things, but is perennial [itself] 
and does not disappear. (5) But if it remains stable itself, but corrupts 
other things and not itself, it cannot leave anything unaffected; the cor- 
ruption of some things must surely corrupt others. But if it is the < only* > 
thing < left* > in existence, and it will no longer leave anything untouched 
but only it will remain, the things that are corrupted by it must disappear. 
(6) However, if it is also bad for itself and the cause of its own decay, its 
existence cannot continue. I should not say only in the future; it would 
disappear < as soon as > it was in being, and would in itself already be the 
cause of its own decay and disappearance. 

60,7 But all these are the yarns of the fool’s nonsense. Take note of 
them, you wise sons of God’s holy church and the Lord’s faith, judge the 
tramp, and laugh at his drivel! But he will go back to the misconceived 
occasions of it and resemblances to it in the sacred scriptures — < false 
ones* > which do not bear that interpretation, but are misunderstood 
by him in that sense. (8) All right, let’s give the exact words of the texts 
which, as I said, he steals from the sacred scriptures and explains in his 
own way — though I have often discussed the same ones < already >, and 
refuted them perfectly well. 

61,1 In the first place, because he had found something about the name 
“Paraclete” in the sacred scriptures and did not know the power of the 
Holy Spirit, he smuggled himself into them, thinking that this was what 
they meant. (2) And he claims that what St. Paul said leaves room for 

266 A comparable argument is found at Tit. Bost. Man. 1:30. 



him, since the holy apostle said, “We know in part and we prophesy in 
part; but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall 
be done away.” 267 

61.3 But St. Paul never says this of the Paraclete, though he, with those 
who like him were apostles, was counted worthy of the Holy Spirit him- 
self. He was talking about the two worlds, this world and the world to 
come, as he told those who want < prior > knowledge of the times, “Let no 
man affright you by word < or > by letter, as that the day of the Lord is at 
hand. For except the son of sin be revealed, the man of iniquity,” 268 and 
so on . . .(a citation is missing here) 

61.4 And again, when the disciples had met with the Savior and asked 
him about the consummation, and he told them, "It is not for you to know 
the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 
But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” 269 

(5) And again he said, “Depart not from Jerusalem, while ye await the 
promise of the Spirit, which ye have heard.” 270 This means the Paraclete 
Spirit, as he said, “If I depart, he shall come and shew you all things.” 271 

(6) But < he said* >, “He shall show you all things,” because of the gift that 
was to be vouchsafed them; < for* > the Holy Spirit < would* > dwell in 
them to give them a clear explanation of all that they could understand 
in this world. 

61.7 And as vessels of the Paraclete Spirit, they prophesied here in 
this world, as < the scripture says > that Agabus prophesied an impend- 
ing famine, and that “Prophets came down from Jerusalem,” 272 and that 
“Philip had four daughters which did prophesy.” 273 

61.8 But when these prophets prophesy, they prophesy in part and 
know in part but with hope await what is perfect in the ages to come, 
“when the corruptible is changed to incorruption and the mortal to 
immortality.” 274 For < “When this mortal shall have put on immortality, > 275 
then shall we see face to face.” (9) For now these things are shown to us 

267 1 Cor 13:9-10. Mani is said to use this argument, Act. Arch. 15.3; cf. Aug. C. Faust. 
15.6; 32.17; Fel. 1.9. 

268 2 Thes 2:2-3. 

269 Acts 1:7-8. 

270 Acts 1:4. 

271 Cf. John 16:7; 13-15. 

272 Acts 11:27. 

273 Acts 21:9. 

274 1 Cor 15:53. 

275 MSS oxav tote; FIo/W oxav . . . tote yap |3A£7TopEV. We adopt Dummer’s suggestion, 
which follows Diekamp, that Epiphanius quoted 1 Cor 15:54 after oxav. 



“darkly,” 276 but there “what eye hath not seen here” is prepared. There 
perfection is revealed, those things that “ear hath not heard” here. There is 
the greatest gift to the saints, that which “hath not entered into the heart 
of man” 277 here. 

61,10 And you see that no further knowledge was held in reserve for 
Mani. How could Mani know it when < he > fell short of his own goal? 
He undertook to master Marcellus; he came to Archelaus with the intent 
of defeating him and could not. (11) Since he has no knowledge of recent 
events, how can he have it of the greater things? When he was caught and 
punished, for example, why did he not escape from the king of Persia — 
except to show all sensible people that he was a complete liar? 

62,1 Again, he cites a text in vain to prove the existence of the dyad he 
believes in and distinguish between the two first principles: the Savior’s 
words, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree 
bring forth good fruit; for by its fruit the tree is known.” 278 (2) And note 
his shallow mind, which does not understand the contents of sacred scrip- 
ture in any depth! If there are trees they have a cultivator; trees are plants 
and have surely been planted by someone. And nothing which is planted 
is beginningless but has a beginning. And having a beginning, it will have 
an end as well. (3) The corrupt tree was not always there, then, but had 
been planted. And this “good tree” is not a reference to all the goodness on 
high — for < there is* > goodness unfeigned there, changeless, of ineffable 
dignity — < and* > the thought is < not about* > the true holy God. 

62,4 But let’s see whether Mani is right about the business of trees, and 
take it from there. If we are talking about the devil, I have already shown 
often that he was not created evil; God made nothing evil, and this is plain 
to the wise. (5) For if we are going over the same ground, it will do no 
harm to give an account of the truth even now. The devil was not wicked 
in the beginning; he proved to be wicked. Look here, the point about the 
tree won’t be proved from that angle! 

62,6 We see too that Saul was a persecutor, but was later persecuted 
for the name he once persecuted. We see that Judas was chosen with the 
twelve apostles but later proved to be < evil >, and is counted as evil. (7) We 
see that Rahab the harlot was not of Israelite stock, but that she repented 
later and received God’s mercy. We see that the thief was apprehended in 

276 1 Cor 13:12. 

277 1 Cor 2:9. 

278 Matt 7:18; 20. Keph. 17,1-23,13 treats this as the fundamental principle of Manichea- 
ism. Cf. Aug. Fel. 2.2. 



a crime and hanged on the wood, and yet he confessed and has entered 
Paradise with the Lord. We see that Nicolaus was a good man and had 
been chosen — but that he proved to be evil afterwards and was reckoned 
among the heresiarchs. 

62,8 And why give all these examples? What is this evil tree from 
which no good can come? Plainly, 279 it is the acts of human beings. Noth- 
ing good can come of fornication, no righteousness of the wickedness of 
envy, 280 nothing commendable of adultery, (g) The tree of sin itself can- 
not grow through goodness — that is, an evil tree does not bear good fruit, 
nor < can > the fruit of a good tree < be > evil. (10) The good tree which 
does not bear evil fruit < is the human heart which is firmly established 
in God and from which, like good fruit, there spring such good works* > 
as hospitality, < which is never evil* >. Even if any number of < evils > 
result from hospitality, charity does not for < this > reason have the force 
of wickedness. [Nor does] purity for God’s sake, continence for the Lord’s, 
righteousness for the Law’s. 

62,11 These two trees are figurative expressions for righteousness and 
sin; but in this barbarous Mani’s opinion, [one] means God and [the 
other] means the devil. (12) And yet, it is plain that no one can dare to say 
that God will ever create evil — perish the thought! — or that the devil does 
good. (13) All good things are made by God, and nothing evil has been 
created or made by him. But if certain things are the work of the devil, 
see here, < in this case too we have found that God fights on the side 
of the faithful* >, that a wreath is woven by him for the saints, the vic- 
tors awarded a prize. 281 (14) And Mani’s argument has failed. The evil and 
good trees refer to good and evil works and not to the Old and the New 
Testaments, as Mani’s argument maintains. 

63,1 Moreover, from a desire to furnish occasions of the two first prin- 
ciples, he ferrets out and employs the texts he thinks apply, though they 
do < not > have this meaning. He says that the Savior told the Jews, “Ye 
are sons of the devil; he was a murderer because his father was a liar.” 282 
(2) He wants to say blasphemously that the maker of heaven and earth is 
the father of the devil, although the text cannot possibly refer to this. 

279 Holl 8»]X6v, MSS 7tc4Xlv. 

280 cpGovou 7iovv]plap. Dummer, following Drexl, suggests that one of these nouns should 
be omitted. 

281 This is probably a reference to martyrdom, which is often regarded as combat with 
the devil. See, e.g., Cyprian of Carthage, Treatise 11.2; in NHC, Apocry. Jas. 4,32-36, etc. 

282 Cf. John 8:44. 



63,3 For if the Jews are in any sense sons of the devil, the argument 
about the devil has failed and Mani is unwittingly contradicting himself. 
For if their souls are made by the devil it follows that they are distinct 
[from the others] and cannot originate from Mani’s mythical power on 
high, or be a part of the light or its armor, or the pillar of light, or the 
Mother of Light. (4) But if < they are > in any sense the devil’s children, it 
follows from Mani’s argument that their father Abraham, whose offspring 
the Jews are, is the devil’s son too. 

63,5 Well then, why does the Savior say to them in refutation, “Ye are 
no children of Abraham, but children of your father, the devil. If ye were 
children of Abraham, ye would do his works. For ye seek to kill me, a man 
that hath told you the truth. This did not Abraham.” 283 (6) And you can 
see that this is colloquial language. The Jews are Abraham’s children, and 
yet separate themselves from the Lord by their works, not their nature 
or creation — I have previously discussed this. 284 How can the portion of 
Abraham’s descendants at one moment be alien to him and belong to the 
devil, and at the next be God’s portion? (7) The Savior means this as an 
accusation. By his activity and his teaching a man is the slave of the one 
to whom he submits, as Paul says, “Though ye have many instructors, yet 
have ye not many fathers. For in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through 
the Gospel.” 285 ( 8) And do you see that he means teaching? And if Mani 
accepted Abraham, we would say that Abraham was the son of the God 
of light, but that his children were someone else’s! 

63, g But this is the reason. The Jews were imitating the murderer, imi- 
tating the betrayal of Judas, had hearkened to the slander of the betrayer, 
become the children of his denial of God. He himself was a liar, for he 
“had the bag and stole,” 286 and said, “Hail, master,” to the Savior, and 
heard his reproach, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?” 287 (10) Since he 
had become a murderer this Judas imitated Cain who lied to the Lord’s 
face and said “Am I my brother’s keeper? I know not where he is.” 288 And 
Cain himself had become the < devil’s > son, by imitation and by paying 

283 Cf. John 8:39-41. 

284 Pan. 38,4,2-9; 40,5,5-8a; 6,1-8. 

285 1 Cor 4:15. 

286 John 12:6. 

287 Matt 26:49-50. 

288 Gen 4:9. 



heed to the lying voice that spoke in the serpent and said, “Ye shall be as 
gods, knowing good and evil.” 289 

63.11 This is what the Savior says in the Gospel, ‘Ye are sons of the 
devil.” 290 For he says, “Flave I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a 
devil?” 291 “Devil” because he was "a liar and a murderer from the begin- 
ning, for his father was a liar.” 292 

63.12 And this question has been resolved. The Jews were not the devil’s 
children, far from it! The Samaritan woman says to the Savior, “Here in 
this mountain our fathers worshiped; and ye say that in Jerusalem is the 
place where men ought to worship” — (13) and later, after much discus- 
sion, the Savior told her, “We speak that we do know, for salvation is of the 
Jews .” 293 And the apostle said in his turn, “It is plain that the Lord sprang 
from Judah .” 294 And there is a great deal to say about this in refutation of 
Mani’s imposture. 

64.1 Again, he seizes on the following text, “The light shineth in the 
darkness, and the darkness overcame it not.” 295 This means that the dark- 
ness pursued the light, he says, since the evil archons pursued the God- 
head and fought against it. 

64.2 But if the light is under attack and pursued by the darkness, the 
darkness must be stronger than the light — since the light runs away from 
the darkness and cannot bear to make a stand, since darkness is appar- 
ently the stronger. (3) But that is not so. The light does not flee from the 
darkness, for “The light shineth in the darkness and the darkness over- 
came it not.” 296 But if the darkness did not overcome the light, this is 
very different from what Mani means. He says not only that the darkness 
overcame the light, but that it seized armor from it as well. Now how ever 
could < the > darkness not overcome the light, when Mani declares that 
it has seized armor? However, if the light is being pursued, why does it 
willingly go on shining in the darkness? 

64,4 But because men’s minds had been blinded by the muddiness of 
sin, God sent the Law first, giving them light as when a lamp appears, (5) as 
Peter says in his Epistle, ‘Taking heed unto the word of prophecy, as unto 

289 Gen 3:5. 

290 John 8:44. 

291 John 6:70. 

292 Cf. John 8:44. 

293 John 4:20; 22; 3:11. 

294 Heb 7:14. 

295 John 1:5. 

296 John 1:5; cf. Act. Arch. 27.11. 



a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day star arise, and the day 
dawn in your hearts.” 297 For that is the source of the light which shines 
in the darkness — the Law which was given "by the hand of a mediator,” 298 
through God’s faithful servant Moses. 

64,6 Because the Law had always been shining like a spark in the law 
of nature, Enoch, saw it and pleased the Lord; Abel pleased the Lord by its 
guidance. Noah saw his way by it, and found favor before God; Abraham 
believed God by it and it was reckoned to him for righteousness. (7) Then 
the light overpassed the dimensions of a spark, and was added to the lus- 
ter of “the lamp that shineth in a dark place.” This is the meaning of “The 
light shineth in the darkness:” 299 God’s commandment, and the intent of 
goodness, which gives light in the hearts of the faithful, within the mind 
muddied < by > the wicked things men do — idolatry, the denial of God, 
murders, adultery and the rest. 

64,8 But when the great Light came, "the true light which lighteth 
every man that cometh into the world, he was in the world, and the world 
was made by him, and the world knew him not — this light that came 
unto his own, and his own received him not — but as many as received 
him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” 300 (g) And do 
you see in what sort of darkness this light shines, and what sort of dark- 
ness has not overcome it? For the good which is continually sent to the 
human mind by God, and which gives light in the world, has not been 
vanquished by sin. 

65,1 Once more, Mani similarly seizes on the Savior’s words, “The king- 
dom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which sowed 
good seed < in > his field. And while men slept an enemy came and sowed 
tares. (2) Then his servants said unto him, Didst thou not sow good seed 
in the field? He said, Yea. They said, Whence then the tares? He said, An 
enemy hath done this. His servant said unto him, Wilt thou that we go 
and root the tares out? (3) But he said unto them, Nay, lest while root- 
ing out the tares ye root out also the wheat. Leave them until the time of 
harvest, and I shall say to the reapers, Gather up the tares and burn them, 
but store the wheat in the barn, and make the tares ready to be burned 
with fire unquenchable.” 301 

297 2 Pet 1:19. 

298 Gal 3:19; Heb 3:5. 

299 John 1:5. 

300 John 1:9-12. 

301 Cf. Matt 13:24-30 and Act Arch. 15.7. 



65,4 But when his disciples asked him in the house, Tell us the par- 
able of the tares,” he explained and did not conceal it, so as not to provide 
the cheat with an opening against the truth. (5) The Lord answered them 
plainly and said, “He that sowed the good seed is God. The field is the 
world; the tares are the wicked men; the enemy is the devil; the reapers 
are the angels; the harvest is the consummation of the age; the wheat is the 
good men. (6) < The consummation will come > when the Lord sendeth 
his angels and gathereth the sinners out of his kingdom and delivereth 
them to be burned.” 302 

65,7 Sons of the truth, see that this man who has become our new ver- 
sion ofjannes and Jambres puts forth his own arguments against himself. 
He himself denies that the world is God’s; yet the Savior has said here 
that the world is the field, that the householder and owner of the field < is 
God > — that is, his Father; and that it is he who has sown his good seed. 
(8) And he did not distinguish souls from bodies or bodies from souls, but 
said that the enemy had sown the tares, which are the evil men. And he 
does not call men just bodies < or just souls > but said, "evil men,” [mean- 
ing both] together. (9) And in turn, he said likewise that the good men are 
the good seed < which > the householder sowed in his field. And he didn’t 
say their souls, but “good < men >,” with body and soul. (10) God thus sows 
the good in men by his teaching, and the devil secretly sows the evil deeds 
in men by his mischief. 

65.11 But we are not going to find a root of wickedness in this place or 
that, but works done by ourselves. And God is in no way responsible for 
the tares which have been sown. Christ makes this clear at once by saying, 
“while men slept”; he didn’t say, “while the householder slept.” Whenever 
we doze off from good works, whenever we neglect righteousness, when- 
ever we do not alert our minds to God’s commandment, sins are sown 
< in us >. 

65.12 Do you see that the reapers get the bundles ready for the eternal 
fire? Tell me, Mani, do they bind up souls there? Or do they burn bodies 
without souls, or burn the souls too? Your description of the purification 
of souls cannot stand up, because they will be consigned to punishment 
and condemnation. But so much for this. For the wise, the utterances of 
the truth are plain. 

66,1 He seizes on yet another text and cites it without realizing its impli- 
cations, but with a wrong interpretation of its saving teaching. I mean the 

302 Cf. Matt 13:36-42. 



words of the Savior, ‘The prince of this world cometh, and hndeth noth- 
ing of his in me”; 303 < and again, “The prince of this world shall be cast 
down >”; 304 and again, in the apostle, ‘The god of this world hath blinded 
the eyes of them that believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of 
Christ should shine.” 305 

66.2 Let’s see < whether > the ruler of this world, of whom the Lord 
speaks, will be cast down — for Christ adds, “And if I be lifted up, I will 
draw all men unto me.” 306 Whom does he mean by “the ruler of this 
world?” And if he means the devil, why does John say of the Savior in his 
Gospel, “He came unto his own?” 307 

66.3 For we can see that the two following sayings are contradic- 
tory. The apostle says, ‘The whole world lieth in the evil one,” 308 and yet 
the Savior “was in the world.” 309 How can both of these allow for each 
other? And if the whole world lies in the evil one, where is there room 
in the world for the Savior, so that he can be “in the world?” (4) And if 
the world’s contents are the Son of God’s “own,” 310 what "ruler” exercises 
control over God’s own? But if the contents of the world are not the Son 
of God’s “own,” what “ruler of the world” would allow the world’s contents 
to be the Savior’s own? And if the world is the Son of God’s, why would 
he allow a “ruler” to hold his own world prisoner? 

66,5 But all the words of the sacred scripture are spoken with wisdom, 
as the Lord himself says, “John came in the way of righteousness, nei- 
ther eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a devil. The Son of Man 
came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold, a man gluttonous and a 
winebibber, the friend of publicans and sinners. And wisdom is justified 
of her children.” 311 (6) And how was wisdom justified by her children? 
How but by those who understand wisdom’s words, as it also says in the 
prophet, “Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? For the ways 

303 Cf. John 14:30. 

304 Cf. John 12:31. 

305 2 Cor 4:4. Cf. Man. Ps. 172,26-27, “He that ate the sheep is the devouring fire, the 
God of this aeon that led the world astray.” The “god of this world” is identified with the 
“evil god” at Act. Arch. 175.7; cf- Aug. C. Faust. 20.1; C. Fel. 2.2. 

306 John 12:32. 

307 John 1:11. 

308 Cf. 1 John 5:19. 

309 John 1:10. 

310 John 1:11. 

311 Matt 11:18-19; cf. Luke 7:35. 



of the Lord are right, and whoso hath the word of wisdom shall likewise 
understand these things; but the impious shall faint in them.” 312 

67,1 < Mani > has indeed fainted in the sacred and heavenly words, and 
been impious with the impious. For the Savior said shortly before this, 
“I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven”; 313 and here again, he says, 
“The ruler of this world shall be cast down.” 314 (2) And if he was speak- 
ing of a Satan who had already fallen, why did he need to be cast down 

But you will surely say, “[He had to be cast] into the abyss.” All right, 
where was the Lord to be “lifted up?” If he was to be lifted from the abyss, 
< he needed to go there first. But he spoke while he was on earth, and 
was to be lifted up from there* > — < for > the comparison of like with like 
assures equivalence of expression. 

67,3 But when was he lifted up on earth? He was speaking of his lift- 
ing on the cross, and his ascent to heaven to draw all to himself. (4) And 
why didn’t he draw them while he was [still] in heaven, but came to 
earth instead? He had to come and assume the form of men, in order 
to < exalt > the holy vessel < in himself > first of all — [the holy vessel] he 
had taken from Mary and formed as his own holy body, the divine Word 
from on high, come from the bosom of his Father. Then, when he had 
been exalted in his own body, he could draw the persons who were like 
him to himself. 

67,5 But who is the ruler of this world? When scripture says, “The 
whole world lieth in the evil one,” it does not mean heaven, earth, the 
sun, the moon, vegetation, the sea, mountains, the air, clouds, the wind, 
stars, winged things — it does not mean any part of the creation, perish the 
thought! “The world” < is* > human < lust* >, the arrogance of the human 
mind, the insolence of human vanity, the boastfulness of human pride. 
(6) This, arrogance, was the “ruler of this world” who was cast down. For 
the Savior says, “Ye receive honor one of another, but I seek not mine 
own glory.” 315 

67,7 How could arrogance not fall, how could the ruler of the world not 
be crushed, when Herod kept the Judge and Lord of the quick and dead 
under guard and judged him? When Pilate sat in judgment on him, a ser- 
vant struck his jaw, Judas betrayed him, Caiaphas sentenced him, the Jews 

312 Hos 14:10. 

313 Luke 10:18. 

314 John 12:31. 

315 John 5:44; 8:50. 



spat on him, and soldiers struck his head though he could have crushed 
heaven and earth with a nod? (8) This was the arrogance, insolence, and 
vainglory of the men of the world; this was the ruler of the world, who fell 
to the earth. For all the notables of rank exercise their authority by shout- 
ing, insolence, reputation and arrogance, none of which are to be found 
in the Savior. For “a smoking flax shall he not quench, and a bruised reed 
shall he not break.” 316 

68,1 And I have a great deal to say about this. But once more, this same 
Mani says that “The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them 
that believe not, lest they should shine in the light of the Gospel.” 317 (2) If 
there is any “god of this world,” what was the Savior doing, entering some- 
one else’s territory? And if he coveted someone else’s possessions, this is 
no way for a good or a just person to behave. (3) But if he came to save 
things which were not his but someone else’s, this is the behavior of a 
flatterer whose object is to make his neighbor’s slaves more impertinent 
than they are. 

68.4 And if he did come to save the possessions of the god of this world, 
he was doing the favor for the god of this world himself, by trying to save 
his vessels. And if the god of this world assents in any way to the rescue 
of his property by the Savior then, even if he cannot save it himself, he is 
good, since he is pleased with the rescue of his possessions. 

68.5 And then there will be a single mutuality of goodness. For the One 
who can, saves, while the one who cannot save his own is pleased with 
those who are saved, and feels that he gains by receiving his own, saved, 
from the One who can really save them. (6) And if he offers no opposition 
to the One who wants to save his possessions, he will be thankful too. 

68.6 But if he is thankful to him, < the Savior > will first save the 
owner of the saved — to display his goodness in the rescued owner, and 
< because >he will not wish to save the less important persons and over- 
look the essential one, from whom the saved have their origin. 

68.7 Or again, from another viewpoint: If he prefers not to save him 
(i.e., the god of the world) and yet saves < the persons > he < has made >, 
he is not finishing his task, and is unable to do good in the fullest sense 
of the word. But if he cannot save him because his is of a nature which is 
unsaveable, but still saves the persons he made — if anything, the ones he 
made are worse than he, and incapable of salvation. 

316 Isa 42:3. 

317 Cf. 2 Cor 4:4. 



68.8 But to put it in still another way: If he had no possessions of his 
own to save and came to someone else’s for show, < to > make a display 
of his assistance — what a desperate plight, that cannot save anything of 
its own, and goes to foreign territory to show off the act which it could 
not show in its own! 

68.9 And Mani’s argument about the Savior and the ruler of this world 
has failed already. In fact the “god of this world” cannot be another god 
different from the real one, or a real other god, perish the thought! God 
the Lord of all, the maker of the world, is one God, the Father of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, and never fails. 

69,1 As to the god the apostle says the unbelievers have chosen for 
their god — I say that there is not just one “god of this world,” never think 
it, there are many. To them unbelievers have submitted and been blinded 
in mind as the apostle says in another passage, (2) “whose god is their 
belly and whose glory is in their shame.” 318 And the Lord says in the Gos- 
pel, "Ye cannot serve two masters”; and then a good while later, to show 
who the two masters are, says, “Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” 319 

69>3 Very well, "God” is God, and mammon is “the god of this world.” 
For most of the human race is caught by mammon and the belly, these 
two, and goes blind, not at God’s instigation but by their own malice — for 
out of unbelief everyone desires everything and submits to everything. 
(4) Thus the apostle says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.” 320 And 
he curses their wicked propensity for god-making for this reason, and to 
curse the lusts of the belly says, “Meats for the belly, and the belly for 
meats; but God shall destroy both it and them.” 321 

69,5 The god of this world, then, has blinded the minds of the unbeliev- 
ers. Thus in the Gospel too we find that the scribe first 322 says correctly, 
“What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 323 And the Lord said, “Honor thy 
father and thy mother as it is written.” For the commandments of the Law 
were not foreign to him, and thus the Lord himself teaches that obser- 
vance of the Law is inheritance of eternal life. 

6g,6 Then the scribe says, “All these things have I done from my 
youth.” And on hearing this the Lord “rejoiced,” to show that the Law’s 

318 Phil 3:19. 

319 Matt 6:24. 

320 1 Tim 6:10. 

321 1 Cor 6:13. 

322 Holl np&tov xaXcop, MSS npwToc; xod SetiTEpop. 

323 For this and the next citation cf. Matt 19:20-26. 



commandments are not foreign to his Godhead; for by saying that he 
“rejoiced,” scripture expressed the agreement of the Old Testament with 
the New Testament. 

69,7 But the scribe said, “What lack I yet?” 324 and the Lord told him, “If 
thou wilt be perfect sell that thou hast and give to the poor, and take up 
thy cross and follow me, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. But he 
went away sorrowing, for he was very rich.” 325 Then the Lord said, “It is 
easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to 
enter into the kingdom of heaven.” 326 < The rich > cannot enter because 
they have been blinded by the god of this world, and have taken mammon 
for their god and submitted to the “god of this world,” that is, to covetous- 
ness. (g) As Christ says, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is 
hypocrisy,” 327 and elsewhere, “which is covetousness.” 328 

And to show the effect and consequence of covetousness he says, “They 
be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall 
into the ditch.” 329 (10) For since covetousness, the god of this world, had 
blinded them, neither had “The light of the Gospel shone in their hearts,” 330 
for they had gone blind from covetousness. (11) Covetousness also blinded 
Judas, also killed Ananias and Sapphira, has destroyed many. This is “the 
god of this world.” By their choice of him for their god men have taken to 
the honoring of him and despised the Lord, as he says, “He will hold to the 
one and despise the other; ye cannot serve God and mammon.” 331 

6g,i2 And there you see the literal and plain explanation of the matter. 
There cannot be any other god, not in heaven, not on earth, not anywhere. 
“There is one Father, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by 
whom are all things,” 332 and one Holy Spirit, in whom are all things. The 
Trinity is forever, one Godhead, neither receiving addition nor admitting 
of subtraction. 

70,1 Let us go on again to something else, beloved, and rend the nets of 
this beast, enemy and criminal by comparing his heresies with the speech 
of the truth, for the benefit of those whose aim is to learn the truth and 

324 Cf. Matt 19:20-22. 

325 Luke 18:23. 

326 Matt 19:24. 

327 Luke 12:1. 

328 This is a variant reading of Luke 12:1. 

329 Matt 15:14. 

330 Cf. 2 Cor 4:4. 

331 Matt 6:24. 

332 1 Cor 8:3. 



turn their minds away from the erring teaching of every sect. (2) For once 
more he seizes on the Law and the Prophets, though he is the enemy 
of the truth, and of the Holy Spirit who has spoken in the Law and the 
Prophets. Naturally he has, as always, given his tongue free rein against 
the God who made all things and spoke in the Law and the Prophets, 
“the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom all the family in heaven and 
earth is named.” 333 

70.3 Mani says, “From him (i.e., the God of the Law) comes lust, from 
him come murders and all the rest. For he ordered [the Jews] to take 
the Egyptians’ clothing and that sacrifices be offered to him, and the rest 
of the Law’s provisions — and the murder of the murderer, so that he is 
still not satisfied with the first murder, 334 but even commands a second 
supposedly to avenge the first. And he puts lusts into people’s minds by 
his descriptions < of > women and other things; but he perforce made a 
few prophecies of Christ, to establish his credibility by these few plausible 

70.4 And these were the words of the insolent Mani, which he impu- 
dently utters against his own Master. Observing them, one must see that 
there is nothing but delirium in this man. For as someone in delirium who 
has a sword draws his sword against himself, cuts his own flesh in his fit 
in the belief that he is fighting against enemies, and does not know it, 
so Mani is at war with himself because he does not understand the texts 
he applies against himself. (5) For if lust is from God and he is the cause 
of lust, why does the God who puts lust in people’s heads write against 
lust all over the scriptures? It is he who says, “Thou shalt not covet thy 
neighbor’s goods, nor his ox nor his ass nor his maidservant nor his field 
nor his wife, nor anything that is thy neighbor’s.” 335 If he forbids lust, he 
cannot be the provider of lust. 

71,1 Why, asks Mani, did he order the spoiling of the Egyptians when the 
Israelites went out of Egypt? Yes, he did — for he is a just judge, as I have 
often said of him by now. (2) And to show that he himself has no need 
of sacrifices, he says in the prophet, “Have ye offered unto me sacrifices 
forty years, O house of Israel? saith the Lord.” 336 (3) To whom were the 
< sacrifices > offered, then? To him, in proportion with the understanding 
of the offerers; and God had commanded this, not because he needed the 

333 Eph 3:15. 

334 Cf. Act. Arch. 44.8. 

335 Exod 20:17. 

336 Amos 5:25. 



sacrifices, but to wean them away from polytheism to the recognition of 
one God. [He commanded it] because they had seen sacrifices offered 
to the gods of the Egyptians, so that their minds would not be changed 
because of the polytheism, and they would desert the one and only God. 
(4) But when God had dissuaded them from polytheism over a long period 
of time and weaned them away from an opinion of this sort, he began to 
cut off the things that were not his will, and said, To what purpose bring 
ye me incense from Saba, and spices from a land afar off?” 337 “Will I eat 
the flesh of bulls and drink the blood of goats?” 338 “1 have not required this 
at your hands,” 339 “but to do righteousness each man to his neighbor, and 
truth each man to his brother.” 340 

71,5 And you see that the meaning behind the sacred < oracles > is 
revealed as time goes on. For example, God himself tells Samuel, “Anoint 
Saul as king,” 341 but later he accuses them with the words, "Ye have 
anointed a king but not by me, and rulers, and 1 did not command you.” 342 
(6) And since their minds were set on this, God consoles 343 the prophet 
Samuel by saying, “They have not rejected thee, but me, saith the Lord. 
But anoint for them Saul, the son of Kish.” The Godhead was dealing with 
them as though with little children, to show patience with the feebleness 
of the weak and coax the infant out of its weakness. (7) Then, at the very 
last, he says, “The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite 
heart God will not despise,” 344 “Offer unto God the sacrifice of praise,” 345 
and whatever other things can be said about this. 

72,1 Next this same Mani says that < the God who gave the Law per- 
force* > consented to say something about Christ. < And the cheat does 
not see how he is confuting himself 4 >. (2) For if he knows the future he 
is not devoid of foreknowledge — but the one who knows the events of the 
future is God, and he wrote of them in order that they would take place. 
And if they were repugnant to him he wrote of them but forbade them, 
so that we would not consent to them. (3) But since he guarantees that 
those future events will be realized in Christ, the Spirit who spoke in the 

337 Jer 6:20. 

338 Ps 49:13. 

339 Isa 1:12. 

340 Cf. Zech8:i6. 

341 Cf. 1 Kms 9:16. 

342 Cf. Hos8:io. 

343 Cf 1 Kms 8:7; 22. 

344 Ps 50:19. 

345 Ps 49:14. 



Law and the Prophets, and in the Gospel, is the same. For there is one 
concord as God says through Moses, “The Lord shall raise up unto you a 
prophet, from your brethren, < like unto me >” 346 (4) and the Lord in his 
turn says in the Gospel, “Moses wrote of me.” 347 Moses says, “Every soul 
that shall not hearken unto that prophet, shall be destroyed,” 348 and the 
Lord, in turn, says, “If ye believe not Moses’ writings, how shall ye believe 
my words?” 349 And it is plain on every side that the truth is a shining thing 
and “has no spot.” 350 

73,1 Again, Mani declares that the testament of the Law is the testament 
of death, since the apostle has said, “If the testament of death, graven with 
letters on stones, was given with glory.” 351 (2) And the sacred scripture 
said not only this, but, “The Law is not made for a righteous man, but 
for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for perjured persons, 
and if there be anything that is contrary to sound doctrine.” 352 (3) Now 
because the Law is not made for a righteous man, is the righteous man 
therefore a law-breaker? Of course not! But since the righteous man has 
already obeyed the Law’s commandments, there is no Law against a righ- 
teous keeper of the Law; the Law is against the lawless, and condemns 

73.4 In this way, then, the testament was a < testament of death >. It 
said that the murderer should be murdered, the adulterer put to death, 
the law-breaker stoned. But “It came with glory,” for its glory was great. It 
prevailed over the glory men derive from injustice to one another, and it 
was typified by the light of a pillar of fire [and] fearful trumpets with their 
loud blasts, < it was deposited* > in the tent of meeting, and came at that 
time with great glory. 

73.5 For the testament of death had to come first, so that we would 
“die to sin” first and “live to righteousness” 353 — as Christ “hath borne 
our griefs and carried our infirmities,” 354 “bearing all in his body on the 

346 Deut 18:15. 

347 John 5:46. 

348 Cf. Deut 18:19. 

349 John 5:47. 

350 Eph 5:27. 

351 Cf. 2 Cor 3:7; Act. Arch. 15.12; 32.4. 

352 1 Tim 1:9-10. 

353 Cf. 1 Pet 2:24. 

354 Isa 53:4. 



cross,” 355 so that first everything pertaining to death and then everything 
pertaining to life would be fulfilled in him for our sakes. 

73.6 And this is why he died first, to confirm the testament of death. 
Then he rose from the dead, that < we might be “changed > from glory to 
glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 356 For “He triumphed over princi- 
palities and powers” 357 on the cross and “condemned sin” 358 in death. He 
buried iniquity by his burial, and broke “death’s sting” 359 by tasting death. 
By his descent into hades he despoiled hades, manfully loosed its prison- 
ers, and won the trophy of the cross against the devil. 

73.7 And see how this glory is the same from Moses until the Lord! 
How much more should the testament of life be glorious, when a stone 
has been rolled away, rocks are rent, graves are opened, angels shine like 
lightning, women proclaim the good tidings, peace is bestowed, a Spirit 
is given the apostles by the Lord, a kingdom of heaven is proclaimed, and 
a Gospel has enlightened the world? “He that descended is the same as 
he that ascended far above all heavens,” 360 (8) and sits at the Father’s 
right hand. The testament was not a bringer of death, it was a testament 
against death. The testament of death came with glory so that the glory 
that excelled it might be [a testament] against death. 

74.1 The next thing this same Mani says is, “The Old and New Testa- 
ments cannot be those of one teacher. For the one is growing older day 
after day, while the other is being renewed day by day. For everything that 
grows old and ages is nearing disappearance. The former is the testament 
of one God and one teacher, the latter, of a different God and a different 
teacher.” 361 

74.2 Now what he says might carry conviction if he were able to show 
that there are two Old Testaments, on the supposition that there were 
two testaments given then. And similarly, if he could show two New Tes- 
taments, one could take what he has said to heart. 362 (3) But if the Old 
Testament is one God’s and the New Testament is another’s, and the New 
Testament is the testament of a good God while the Old is that of a bad 
one, the good God would not have known that he should give a testament 

355 1 p e j 2:2 ^ 

356 2 Cor 3:10. 

357 Col 2:15. 

358 Rom 8:3. 

359 1 Cor 15:55-56. 

360 Eph 4:10. 

361 Cf. Act. Arch. 15.12. 

362 Cf. Act. Arch. 52.2. 



if he had not seen the bad god giving one. And if anything, he would be 
taking the occasion for his teaching from the bad god. For if he had not 
seen the bad god giving a testament he would not have imitated him, 
since he had no experience of affairs. For if he had not seen, he would 
not have imitated. (4) And, if anything, the Old Testament ought to be the 
good God’s so that, if someone must be called an imitator, it is the bad god 
rather than the actual God. 

74.5 For the Lord says in the Gospel, “What things soever the Son seeth 
the Father do, the Son likewise doeth.” 363 And [he says this] to avoid defer- 
ring to a counselor, lest the devil boast that the Savior has done something 
by his advice — as the devil tells him, “Command that the stones be made 
bread,” 364 but he will not hear of it so as not to be suspected, from his 
agreement, of taking the advice from the devil. 

74.6 And do you see that he says that the two testaments are those 
of one God? The apostle says, “The first testament was given at Mt. Sinai 
and gendereth to bondage. For Mt. Sinai is in Arabia. < But the heavenly 
Jerusalem is free, which is the mother of us all >.” 365 For if there are two 
wives, there is still only one husband, thus, even though there are two 
Testaments, there is one God, the giver of the two. (7) And this is why 
he did not call two testaments “New,” or two testaments “Old,” but called 
one Old and one New. And he says, “A testament is of force after men 
are dead; therefore the first testament was not dedicated without blood. 
For Moses took the blood of goats and sprinkled both the book and the 
people.” 366 Thus the second testament too was given at the death of the 
Savior. (8) And above all, both Testaments are in agreement. The one says, 
“There shall not fail a ruler from Judah, nor a governor from out of his 
loins, until that come for which it is prepared”; 367 but the second says, 
“God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their 
trespasses unto them.” 368 And there is a great deal to be said about this, 
but for brevity’s sake I shall omit it. 

75,1 And again, he compares the Law and the Prophets to trees which 
are withered and old, supposedly taking this from the text which said, 

363 John 5:19. 

364 Matt 4:3. 

365 Gal 4:24-26. 

366 Heb 9:17; 18; 19. 

367 Gen 49:10. 

368 2 Cor 5:19. 



“The Law and the Prophets were until John.” 369 (2) And nothing could be 
sillier. Who does not understand that once < the Law > which the proph- 
ets proclaimed was fulfilled, the prophets were finished? If prophets were 
still coming and announcing a Christ to come from Mary, Christ would 
not have arrived yet. 

75,3 For this matter is something of this kind: 370 It is as though a king 
who intends to visit a country sends riders, advance men and heralds 
before him, and the nearer the king’s arrival the more heralds there are of 
his coming, preceding him and proclaiming his arrival in the cities. (4) But 
when the king actually reaches the city, what further need is there for 
heralds, what for riders, or for the others to proclaim the king’s arrival in 
advance, since the king himself is in the city? 

75.5 And thus “The Law and the prophets were until John.” 371 After 
John had cried aloud in the wilderness and made it known that “This is 
the lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world,” 372 there was no 
more need for prophets, to come and announce to us Christ’s advent from 
a Virgin. But there was the need of those who had previously proclaimed 
his coming in the past, for the confirmation of his coming, since it had 
been proclaimed before. 

75.6 It is as though someone had a pedagogue, as the apostle says, 
“The Law was our pedagogue until the Lord’s coming.” 373 When the per- 
son grows old enough and obtains a teacher, he surely does not get rid 
of the pedagogue as though he were an enemy. (7) So we too were given 
guidance in the Law and the Prophets until the coming of our Teacher. 
But now that we have our teacher we do not despise the pedagogue but, 
indeed, are grateful to him. He has served as the guide of our childhood, 
and set us on our way to the more advanced studies. 

75,8 Or, it is as though a man planning to make a sea voyage had a 
big ship, but sailed over the open roadstead beside the shore in a little 
boat, and the boat took the man to the big ship. The man surely does not 
sink the boat because he has reached the big ship, but boards his larger, 
safe ship with thanks to the boat, (g) Or to put it another way, suppose 
one were exposed in infancy by the mother who bore him, but taken in 
by a passerby and reared for some time, and recognized his real father 

369 Luke 16:16. Cf. Act. Arch. 15.14. 

370 The following series of metaphors may have been suggested by Act. Arch. 15.14. 

371 Luke 16:16. 

372 John 1:29. 

373 Gal 3:24. 



later when he grew up, and his father acknowledged him. Does he despise 
the man who brought him up because he has recognized his father and 
is getting his own inheritance? Won’t he far sooner thank the man who 
brought him up, because he did not leave him to die? (10) In the same way, 
we thank the God who has given us the Law and the Prophets, and we 
thank him < who > has counted us worthy of his Son’s New Testament. 

76.1 Once more, Mani says that we are kinds of archons, that we were 
made by the archons, 374 and that we are held in reserve for them, for 
food. But there is a great deal of ignorance in this sort of talk; (2) we can 
see that this is not the way things are. Nothing in the world, not even if it 
is one of < the > more dangerous, fiercer beasts, attacks its own kind, but 
other kinds. (3) Lions do not eat lions, for example, because they are of 
the same stamp and the same kind. Even when a severe famine bears hard 
upon the beasts in the mountains, and they find no < food > for a long 
while because of snow or some other exigency, they live in their caves 
and dens, lions with cubs and lionesses, < and do not touch each other* >. 
And a beast will not attack a beast, or a wolf, a wolf, (4) unless the animal 
goes mad and in its fury does not know what it is doing. (5) Very well, if 
a wolf will not eat a wolf because they look alike, how can the archons 
eat us, if we are of the same < kind >? Won’t they treat us gently instead, 
with the idea of preserving their own kinds? And the tramp’s arguments 
are refuted from every standpoint. 

77.1 Then again, he seizes on the text from the Gospel, “All cannot 
receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.” 375 And what the Sav- 
ior said was not about teaching here, but about eunuchs. (2) However, if 
“Not all can receive it,” is here applied to his teaching by the Savior, then, 
if they will not receive it, this is intentionally. These people, then, will 
be termed praiseworthy or blameworthy by their own choice and their 
acceptance of the teaching cannot be by nature. Otherwise, what good 
would it do the Savior to give his teaching? (3) So Mani’s argument has 
failed in every respect. The Savior did not make this declaration about 
teaching, but about eunuchhood, and even if he had said it about teach- 
ing, Mani’s argument would not hold good. 

77,4 Again, Mani says, “I knew my own, ‘For my sheep know me and 
I know my sheep.’ ” 376 But he is a liar in everything. He said this of the 

374 Cf. Act. Arch. 16.10. 

375 Matt 19:11. 

376 John 10:14. Cf. Act. Arch. 28.1. 



audience at the debate, because he wanted to catch souls by cozening and 
as it were setting a trap, so that they would see fit to join him because of 
the flattery. (5) Then, once they had joined him, he could begin to boast, 
and say that he knew them before they came to him. (6) But the outcome 
for him was the same as the Greek myth about the soothsayer Apollo, who 
told other people’s fortunes but could not tell his own, and instead failed 
in his prediction — (7) for he was in love with Daphne, and because of her 
discretion failed to win her. Mani too prophesied that he knew his own, 
and actually came for Marcellus, to obtain his submission. But his oracle 
failed. Neither Marcellus, nor anyone else who was present on that occa- 
sion, was convinced by him. 

78,1 Next he said that no one was saved in ancient times, 377 but [only] 
from the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar until his own day. (Probus 
was emperor then, and his predecessor Aurelian, when this Mani was 
alive.) (2) And in this too he is completely refuted, since the Gospel, and 
the words of the apostles, speak of those who have already been saved. 
The Lord likewise says, ‘There shall be required of this generation all the 
righteous blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood of 
righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which was shed between the 
temple and the altar.” 378 How could Abel be righteous, how could Zacha- 
rias, unless salvation were already possible, and because they had already 
been saved by the Law and the prophets? < Thus the apostle also* > says, 
“Death reigned from Adam to Moses,” 379 to show you that death was 
checked, though not altogether destroyed, in Moses’ time. 

78.4 For Moses acknowledged the “Finisher” 380 of all things, “Jesus,” 
who, when he gave himself for the human race — the immortal dying, the 
invulnerable become vulnerable, life enduring suffering in the flesh — 
would, through death, break the one who had control of death, and the 
sting of sin, and death. Then at last < the words >, “O death, where is thy 
sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” 381 would come true. 

78.5 For there, in Moses’ time, the death which had reigned until 
Moses was restrained and checked. And Abel was righteous before that, 
and Enoch, “who was taken away that he might not see death, and was not 

377 Cf. Act. Arch. 32.4. 

378 Matt 23:35. Cf. Act. Arch. 33.5. 

379 Rom 5:14. Cf. Act. Arch. 32.4. 

380 Heb 12:2. 

381 1 Cor 15:55. 



found.” 382 (6) But there < was > no written Law yet — only the law which 
comes into being naturally from our minds, and by tradition, successively 
from fathers to sons. 383 When, however, the Law was given overtly, it 
became, as it were, a sword to cut the power of sin in two. But when 
the Savior arrived, the sting of death was broken. And again, < when this 
corruptible puts on incorruption and this mortal puts on immortality* >, 
then death will be swallowed up in victory. 

78,7 And see how God saved by many means, but the fullness of 
salvation has come and will come in Christ Jesus, our Lord, as the Gospel 
says, “Of his fullness have we all received.” 384 (8) And which “fullness?” 
‘The Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” 385 
There, it was “given”; here, it has “come.” If the Law, grace and truth come 
through Jesus of < his > fullness, the Old and the New Testaments < are 
from the same Testator, who gives them* > in the Law, in grace, and 
in truth. 

79,1 But Mani has also utilized another text and says that “Christ has 
bought us free from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us.” 386 
(2) Well then, he should tell us what the sale cost, what price was paid 
(for us)! Paul didn’t say “bought,” but, “redeemed.” However, Mani under- 
stands the purchase, but doesn’t know the price. 

But the truth admits of both expressions. (3) Christ has indeed redeemed 
us and bought us “free from the curse of the Law by being made a curse 
for us.” And the teacher of the church immediately adds the way in which 
Christ bought us, and says, “Ye were bought with a price,” 387 “the precious 
blood of Christ, the lamb without blemish and without spot.” 388 Now if we 
were bought with the blood, you are not one of the purchased, Mani, for 
you deny the blood. 

79,4 Tell me, from whom did he buy us? Did he buy us as someone 
else’s property? If so, was our former owner out of funds and in need of 
our purchase price, and did he take it and give us to Christ? And if we 
have been given to Christ, we no longer belong to our former owner. 

382 Cf. Gen 5:24. 

383 Cf. Act. Arch. 32.9. 

384 John 1:16. 

385 John 1:17. 

386 Gal 3:13. The thought is common in Manichean writings; cf. CMC 16,2-9, "to redeem 
the captives from the tyrants [?] and free his own members from subjection to the rebels 
and the power of the governors” et al. 

387 1 Cor 6:20. 

388 1 Pet 1:19. 



79,5 If, therefore, our former owner no longer possesses us, however, 
then he has been deprived of his abundance and has no authority in his 
own domain. How, then, can he “work in the children of disobedience,” 389 
as the scripture says? (6) But this utter madman who has opened his 
mouth without being able to “afhrm that whereof he speaks,” 390 does 
not understand how Christ ever bought us, does not understand that we 
were redeemed, or how Christ became a curse for us. (7) I can see them 
addressing Christ at the regeneration of his coming and crying out, “In 
thy name we ate, and in thy name cast out devils. 391 And he shall say to 
them, Depart from me ye cursed, I never knew you.” 392 ( 8) How can they 
confess him, and he curse them? But what was the curse of the Law? The 
curse of the Law was the cross, on our sns’ account. 

For if someone was taken in a transgression, the Law said, “And ye shall 
hang him on a tree. The sun shall not set upon him, upon his corpse, but 
ye shall surely take him down and shall surely bury him before the setting 
of the sun, for cursed is he that hangeth on the tree.” 393 (g) Thus, since the 
curse had been pronounced because of the crucifixion he himself, when 
he came, “bare our sins upon the tree” 394 by “giving himself for us.” 395 His 
blood has bought us, his body taken away the curses that were on us — 
that is, through the penance of the cross, and through his coming, it has 
done away with the sins. (10) Thus the Law was not a curse, never think 
it! Neither the Gospel nor the Lord received the curse; but because of his 
death, the death decreed for sin is destroyed. 

80,1 Next he says that the Law “was the ministration of death.” 396 
< But > I have already said a great deal to show that it was not a minister 
of death. (2) It did not order murder, but commanded, “Thou shalt do no 
murder.” 397 Its ministry was a ministry of death because it murdered the 
murderer to prevent murder through the murder of one person, so that 
many would be afraid because of the one person, keep their wickedness 
in check and commit no more murders. This was not to minister death, 

389 Eph 2:2. 

390 1 Tim 1:7. 

391 Matt 7:22 (Luke 13:26). 

392 Luke 13:27. 

393 Cf. Deut 21:33. 

394 1 Pet 2:24. 

395 Gal 1:4. 

396 2 Cor 3:7. 

397 Exod 20:13. 



but to ensure the death of the murderer so that many would no longer 
become murderers. 

80,3 But when the Savior came, since the pedagogue had at last made 
his charges peaceable for the greater part of the time, the Savior gave the 
more advanced lessons. In agreement with the Law of “Thou shalt do no 
murder; Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not bear false witness” 398 (4) the 
Savior said, “To him that smiteth thee on the right cheek turn to him the 
other also,” 399 in order to make the ministry a ministry of life with mur- 
der eliminated altogether. For if someone receives a blow on the cheek, 
he offers no provocation to murder. Instead, by his humility he disarms 
the murderer’s hand, and soothes the wickedness in him. And thus all the 
ancient laws, and the New Testament, are in agreement. 

8r,r Then he seizes on something else, as a covert way of introduc- 
ing two pieces of evidence for the dyad he speaks of — the dyad of the 
natures which I mentioned before, of two principles with no beginnings, 
and of two roots. In his desire to say something similar about a distinc- 
tion between things, he ventures to distinguish them as follows, and is 
not ashamed to say, (2) "The Old Testament said, The silver is mine and 
the gold is mine”; 400 but the New Testament says, “Blessed are the poor 
in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” 401 

8r,3 But he does not know that the Old Testament also says, “The poor 
and the rich have met together: but the Lord is the maker of them both.” 402 
And the New Testament agrees, and pronounces a blessing on the poor 
who are literally poor, and in another passage a blessing on the poor in 
spirit, so that both pronouncements have force. Thus Peter can point with 
pride to his literal poverty and say, “Silver and gold have I none, but what 
I have, I give thee; in the name of Jesus Christ, rise up and walk,” 403 (4) so 
that the blessing of the actually poor means nothing contradictory to the 
blessing of the poor in spirit. The “poor in spirit” are persons in righteous 
possession of property, while the “poor” are the humble, of whom Christ 
said, “I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat, thirsty, and ye gave me 
drink,” and so on 404 

398 Exod 20:13; 15-16. 

399 Matt 5:39. 

400 Hag 2:9. 

401 Matt 5:3. The argument, and this scriptural text, are found at Act. Arch. 44.8. 

402 Prov 22:2. 

403 Acts 3:6. 

404 Matt 25:35, cf. Act. Arch. 44.9-10. 



81,5 Next he explains, ‘These (i.e., the poor in spirit) acted of their 
abundance”; 405 and you see one and the same Spirit speaking of the poor 
and the rich in the Old Testament and the same in the New, just as the 
Savior praises them both. (6) For as he was watching the treasury he saw 
people putting money into the treasury, and did not refuse the gifts of 
the rich; but he praised the widow who had put in the two mites for her 
[actual] poverty, as we have said, in fulfillment of the scripture, “The poor 
and the rich have met together: but the Lord is the maker of them both.” 406 
(81,7) And to show that this is so, and the Spirit of the Old and the New 
Testaments is the same, see the apostle say of the ancient prophets, “The 
time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, David and 
the other prophets who wandered about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being 
tormented, straitened, afflicted, of whom the world was not worthy.” 407 
For I have found that Isaiah wore sackcloth, and Elijah too. And do you 
see how, in the Old and the New Testaments, the poor are called blessed 
for piety, and the rich are called blessed for righteousness? 

82.1 Then once more, the same Mani says, “The Old Testament com- 
mands us to keep the Sabbath, and if one did not keep it he was stoned, 
as one was put < to death > for gathering a bundle of sticks. But the New 
Testament, that is, the Lord in the Gospel, said, “I work, and my Father 
worketh.’ 408 The disciples plucked ears of grain on the Sabbath, and he 
healed on the Sabbath. And not only this, but He said besides, ‘Take up 
thy bed, and go unto thine house.” ’ 409 

82.2 Such ignorance! There is nothing worse than lack of knowledge, 
for ignorance has made many people blind. When has the Sabbath not 
been broken for a good cause? When was not only the Sabbath, but every 
day not a forbidden day for evil? 

82.3 Moses’ successor Joshua the son of Nun, who counts as a prophet, 
was God’s chosen, and stopped the sun and moon by prayer when he 
said, “Let the sun be still over Gibeon, and the moon over the valley of 
Ajalon,” 410 plainly broke the Sabbath for the performance of a good work. 
(4) When traveling farther than the prescribed six stades was not allowed 
on the Sabbath, he circled the walls of Jericho for seven days. But the 

405 Mark 12:44; Luke 21:4. 

406 Prov 22:2. 

407 Heb 11:32; 37. 

408 John 5:11. 

409 Matt 9:6. Cf. Act. Arch. 44:9-10. 

410 Josh 10:12-13. 



circumference of Jericho is more than twenty stades; if they circled it for 
seven days, the Sabbath surely fell on one of the days. (5) But this was 
God’s command, to show his will to work wonders. For there were no 
machines or catapults, no battering-rams, no siege engines; the enemy’s 
walls sagged and fell solely at the sound of a ram’s horn and the prayer of 
a righteous man. (6) For their punishment was due, since the tally of the 
Amorites’ sins had been completed. 

83,1 The Law was a judge of iniquity and rewarded everyone in accor- 
dance with his own works. The Amorites were in sin, had fallen into trans- 
gression, and had violated the oath they had sworn. I have already said this 
elsewhere, but to repeat it here will do no harm. (2) This is an example of 
Mani’s frightfulness which comes to mind: “Some ‘good’ God of the Law! 
He spoiled the Egyptians, expelled the Amorites, Girgashites and other 
nations, and gave their land to the children of Israel. If he said, ‘Thou shalt 
not covet,’ 411 how could he give them other people’s property?” 

83,3 The ignoramus did not know that they had taken their own land 
back which had been seized from them, and that retribution was exacted 
for the pact that was made between them with a true determination and 
oath. (4) For when Noah was saved from the flood — and his wife, with his 
three sons and their three brides — he alone divided the whole world as 
the passage, and nothing foolish or false, states, distributing it by casting 
lots in Rhinocorura 412 to his three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth. 

83,5 For Rhinocorura means Neel, and its inhabitants actually call it 
that; but in Hebrew it means “lots,” since Noah cast the lots for his three 
sons there. (6) And the allotment from Rhinocorura, Gadiri fell < to Ham >, 
including Egypt, the Marean Marsh, Ammon, Libya, Marmaris, Pentapolis, 
Macatas, Macronas, Leptis Magna, Syrtis, and Mauritania, out to the so- 
called Pillars of Hercules and the interior of Gadiri. (7) These were Ham’s 
possessions to the south. But he also owned the land from Rhinocorura 
eastwards, Idumaea, Midianitis, Alabastritis, Homeritis, Axiomitis, Bugaea, 
and Diba, out to Bactria. 

83,8 The same allotment marks off the east for Shem. Roughly, Shem’s 
allotment was Palestine, Phoenicia and Coele-Syria, Commagene, Cilicia, 
Cappadocia, Galatia, Paphlagonia, Lazia, Iberia, Caspia, and Carduaea, out 
to Media in the north, (g) From there this allotment assigns the north 

411 Exod 20:17. 

412 Rhinocorura comes from LXX Isa 27:12, where it is used to translate Epiphanius, 
who is the first to place Noah’s division of the world here, is thinking of the resemblance 
between ^tU and iTJfU, “lot.” 



to Japheth. And in the west <Japheth was allotted > the land between 
Europe and Spain, and Britain, < Thrace, Europe, Rhodope > and the 
peoples who border on it, the Venetians, Daunians, Iapygians, Calabrians, 
Latins, Oscans [and] Megarians, out to the inhabitants of Spain and Gaul, 
and the lands of the Scots and Franks in the north. 

84,1 When the allotments had been so made Noah called his three 
sons together and bound them with an oath, so that none of them would 
encroach on his brother’s allotment and be covetous of his brother. 
(2) But, being covetous, Canaan the son of Ham invaded Palestine and 
held it, and the land was named Canaan because Canaan settled in it after 
leaving his own allotment, which he thought was hot. (3) And he settled 
in Shem’s land, which is now called Judaea, and fathered the following 
sons: Amorraeus, Girgashaeus, Pherizaeus, Jebusaeus, Hivaeus, Arucaeus, 
Chittaeus, Asenaeus, Samaraeus, Sidonius and Philistiaeus. (4) And so, to 
show that the number of their sins against the oath was reaching comple- 
tion, the Lord says in the Law, “The sins of the Amorites have not yet 
been completed.” 413 And therefore [Israel] remained in the mountains 
and loitered in the wilderness, until the Amorites rendered themselves 
self-condemned by going to war with the wronged sons of Shem. 

84,5 For Shem was the father of Arphaxad, Arphaxad of Kenah, Kenah 
of Selah, Selah of Eber, Eber of Peleg, Peleg of Reu, Reu of Serug, Serug 
of Nahor, Nahor of Terah, Terah of Abraham, Abraham of Isaac, Isaac of 
Jacob, Jacob of Judah, Judah of Perez, Perez of Esrom, Esrom of Aram, 
Aram of Aminadab, Aminadab of Naason. (6) In the time of Naason the 
head of the tribe of Judah and in the time Joshua the son of Nun, the 
sons of Shem took their own land with no wrong involved, but a putting 
to rights. And so the walls of Jericho fell of themselves, for righteousness 
avenges unrighteousness. (7) They circled the walls on seven days, and the 
Sabbath was violated so that righteousness would be fulfilled. 

854 And not only this, but the sacred lampstand in the tent of the tes- 
timony had seven lamps, and the seven lamps were all lit every day. Not 
one remained unlit on any day; on every day there was the same light. 
(2) For the Sabbath was not instituted for the stoppage of work but for 
good work. While no one in the twelve tribes ever worked [on the Sab- 
bath], the altar alone did not stand idle, as the Lord says in the Gospel, 
“Your priests profane the Sabbath in the temple, and are blameless.” 414 

413 Gen 15:16. 

414 Matt 12:5. 



(3) But “They profane the Sabbath” means that they break it. But how 
do they break it but by offering sacrifice to God, so that the altar will not 
stand idle? 

85,4 And not only this. The sun rises and sets, the moon waxes and 
wanes, winds blow, fruit is produced, mothers give birth, and it all takes 
place on the Sabbath. (5) And thus when the Lord came he did not prac- 
tice carpentry or coppersmithing on the Sabbath, or < do > anything else 
[of the sort], but as God he did the work of God. And he says, “Take up thy 
bed and walk,” 415 to make his ongoing work known from the man carrying 
the bed, so that all will recognize Him who has come from heaven to the 
aid of the sons of men. 

85,6 For he did in fact come to abolish the Sabbath, but he could not 
have abolished it if it had been other than his own. No one destroys some- 
one else’s work unless he is a renter 416 and a nuisance, the kind of person 
who asks for punishment. (7) But since the Sabbath belonged to him he 
said, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”; and he said, “Man was not 
made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man.” 417 (8) Now if God made 
the Sabbath for man, and valued man more highly than the Sabbath, then 
< there is one God, who made the law of the Sabbath* > so that everyone 
would be aware of the rest < God has given us [now*] >, and the repose 
of the things to come; for the things here are types of the heavenly things. 
(9) Here things are partial, but there is all perfection. So the Sabbath of 
the Law was in force until Christ’s arrival. But he abolished that Sabbath 
and gave us the supreme Sabbath, the Lord himself, our Rest and Sabbath 

85,10 Thus the Old Testament is no different from the New, or the New 
from the Old. However, if an unschooled, ignorant person sees two ladles 
draw water from one stream, but supposes because of the difference of 
the ladles that the kinds of water [in them] are different too, the wise 
will tell him the truth, “Taste the two ladles, and see that there are two 
ladles, but one stream.” (11) Thus there is one Lord, one God, one Spirit 
who has spoken in the Law and Prophets, and in the Gospel. This is why 
there are not two Old Testaments and not two New Testaments. There 
are not two testators but one, who makes the Old Testament old and the 
New Testament new — not by reducing the Old Testament to nothing but 

415 John 5:8. 

416 E>oW]^7mop translates the Latin conductor, or susceptor. 

417 Mark 2:28; 27. 



by bringing the Old Testament to a close and adding the inheritance of 
abundance through the second Testament 

86,1 Mani introduces yet another text by saying, “I know that spirit is 
saved without body. 418 For the apostle teaches this,” says he, “with the 
words, ‘It is actually reported that there is fornication among you, and 
such fornication as is not found even among the gentiles, that one should 
have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, 
that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. 
I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already him 
that hath done this deed, when ye and the Lord are gathered together 
with my spirit, to deliver such an one to Satan for the destruction of the 
flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. 419 (2) But the 
destruction of the flesh is its entire reduction to nothing. If the flesh is 
reduced to nothing by the devil’s agency, and the spirit is saved, how can 
there still be a resurrection of bodies or flesh, and a salvation of spirit?” 420 

86,3 And in his total ignorance he did not know that “The works of 
the flesh are fornication, adultery, uncleanness” 421 and similar things, and 
< that > Paul is not speaking of the flesh itself, but of the works of the flesh. 
(4) When fornication is committed, the flesh commits it. But if one prac- 
tices continence, the flesh is no longer flesh. The flesh has been turned 
to spirit as the apostle says, “He who joined both at the beginning said, 
For this cause shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall be 
joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.” 422 “Thus he which 
is joined to an harlot is one body, and he which is joined unto the Lord 
is one spirit.” 423 

86,5 Thus if someone commits fornication he has become "flesh” — and 
not just his flesh itself, but everything about him, his soul and the rest, 
becomes “flesh.” He became flesh by his union with the harlot, and since 
he is fleshly the whole of him is called flesh. “But he that is joined to the 
Lord is one spirit” — that is, his body, his soul and everything in the man, 
is one spirit in the Lord. 

418 Man. Horn. 75,13-14, “their souls went to the heavens, their bodies returned to the 

419 1 Cor 5:1-5. 

420 Chapter 13 of the Kephalaia, pp. 45,16-46,12, is entitled “On the Five Saviors Who 
Raise the Dead, and on the Five Resurrections.” The chapter is fragmentary, but the five 
resurrections are surely “spiritual” or metaphorical. 

421 Gal 5:19. 

422 Eph 2:14; 5:31. 

423 1 Cor 6:16-17. 



86.6 And the same apostle says in his legislation on the subject, “God 
hath set the members in the body, every one of them as it hath pleased 
him.” 424 And see how he acknowledges that God is the maker of the body, 
and the Disposer of our members as he has willed, by his wisdom and 

86.7 Then again, in place of the illustration of our own bodies < he 
introduces the illustration of the body* > of Christ, < and says >, “As we 
are the body of Christ and members in particular,” 425 and, “the church of 
God, which is the body of Christ.” 426 (8) Now if God’s church is a body, 

< but > it is one spirit when it is joined to the Spirit, that is, to the Lord, 
then a member who sins ceases to be spirit and becomes entirely flesh, in 
his soul and body, and everything in him. 

86,9 Otherwise, how could part of someone be delivered to Satan, and 
part not delivered? Paul did not say that the man’s flesh was delivered to 
Satan, but ordered the delivery of “such an one.” But since he says, "such 
an one,” (10) he has delivered a man whole, with his soul and entire man- 
hood. If he has delivered him whole, however, he has declared that he is 
entirely flesh. But he said that “the spirit” is saved at the day of the Lord, 
so that the church would not be held responsible for the fault of the man 
who fell, and the whole church polluted by the transgression of the one. 

< Thus > what he means is, “Deliver the one who has fallen, that the spirit, 
that is, the whole church, may be saved.” 

87,1 But, says Mani, the scripture says, “Flesh and blood cannot inherit 
the kingdom of God”; 427 and here he thinks he has a point. In fact, how- 
ever, fornication cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven, nor can adultery, 
uncleanness or idolatry; that is, “flesh and blood” cannot inherit the king- 
dom of heaven. 

87,3 If you suppose, however, that the "flesh and blood” [mentioned 
here] is the actual flesh, what application can be left for, “And as many 
as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, who 
were born, not of the flesh, but of God?” 428 Who in the world has been 
born without flesh? (3) But because their minds were changed — not the 
natures of those who are born of flesh and blood mothers and fathers, 
[but their minds \ — and they were born with the second birth, which is 

424 1 Cor 12:18. 

425 Read ex pepoui; with 1 Cor 12:27. MSS ex peXoup is surely an error. 

426 Eph 1:22-23. 

427 1 Cor 15:53. 

428 John 1:12-13. 



birth from the Lord by Spirit and fire, he gave them the right to become 
the sons of God. 

87,4 Thus, as they were born of flesh and blood here, < so in turn they 
are born again of spirit* >. And because of their conversion to righteous- 
ness their birth is no longer counted as a birth of flesh and blood, although 

< they live* > in flesh and blood — as he says, "For though we walk in the 
flesh, we do not war after the flesh.” 429 (5) Thus there can be flesh that 
does not “war after the flesh.” And this is why he says that flesh and blood 
cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. He < is not speaking > of this flesh 
which has grown weary [in welldoing], been sanctified, pleased God, but 
of the “flesh” which is counted as sinful. (6) Otherwise what application 
can there be of “This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mor- 
tal must put on immortality?” 430 

87,7 But so that no one will fall into error and despair of the body’s res- 
urrection because of its evil works, the same apostle puts this more clearly 
and says, "Put to death your members upon earth, which are fornication, 
adultery, uncleanness,” 431 and so on. < And see that he means the mem- 
bers that do not rise, the passions of the flesh.* > (8) On the other hand, 
listen to the angels who appeared to the Galilaeans and said, “This Jesus 
whom ye have seen taken up from you, shall so come in like manner as ye 
have seen him taken up.” 432 

From all that I have said, the sensible can understanding the meaning 
in all the words of the truth, and in those of this so-called Mani’s false- 
hood. And even if I have overlooked some text, all his lies are detectable 
by means of the two or three testimonies which I have mentioned. 

We have gone over a long, hard road and many dangerous places, and 

< have* > with difficulty < crushed the head* > of this amphisbaena and 
venomous reptile, the cenchritis, which has coils of many illustrations for 
the deception of those who see it, and conceals beneath it the sting and 
poisonous source < of the lies of heathen mythology* >. (3) For since Mani 
is a pagan with the pagans and worships the sun and moon, the stars and 
daemons, the man < is heathen* >, and his sect teaches heathen religion. 

< And besides this* > he knows the lore of the magi and is involved with 

429 2 Cor 10:3. 

430 1 Cor 15:53. 

431 Col 3:5. 

432 Cf. Acts 1:11; Man. Ps. 86,19-21, "Thou madest me worship these Luminaries and 
the Fathers that are in them, that ferry across them that believe to the Land of the 



them, and he praises astrologers and practices their mumbo jumbo. He 
merely mouths the name of Christ, as the cenchritis too conceals its poi- 
son, and deceives people with its tangled coils by hiding in deep woods 
and matching its background. 

88,4 But with the power of God, the cudgel of the truth, the blood 
of Christ, his body truly born of Mary, the resurrection of the dead, and 
the confession of the one Divine Unity, we have crushed the head of the 
dragon upon the waters, put this many-headed sect to flight and smashed 
its head. Let us close with gratitude to God and hurry on to the other 
sects, calling on God to be the help of our weakness, so that we may keep 
the promise we have made in God, and give him perfect thanks. 

Against Hieracites. 1 47, but 67 of the series 

1,1 After the savage onset of this rotten, poisonous teaching of Mani, the 
worst of all heresies and like that of a snake, there arose a man named 
Hieracas, the founder of the Hieracites. (2) He lived at Leontus in Egypt 2 
and had quite a bit of education, for he was proficient in the Greek and 
other literary studies, and well acquainted with medicine and the other 
subjects of Greek and Egyptian learning, and perhaps he had dabbled in 
astrology and magic. (3) For he was very well versed in many subjects and, 
as his works show, < an extremely scholarly > expositor of scripture. 3 He 
knew Coptic very well — the man was Egyptian — and was also quite clear 
in Greek, for he was quick in every way. 

1.4 He was supposedly Christian but did not persevere in Christ’s 
regime, for he strayed from it, slipped, and came to grief. He could recite 
the Old and New Testaments accurately from memory and gave exposi- 
tions of them, but because of his foolishness he privately held whatever 
doctrines suited his fancy and came into his head. 

1.5 Hieracas too holds that the flesh never rises, only the soul. 4 He 
claims, however, that there is a spiritual resurrection. And he collected 

1 i>3> 3,3, and the quotations from Hieracas at 2,2-64 and 3,2-3 show that Epiphanius 
knows a work or works by Hieracas, or has seen quotations from them. The Life of Epipha- 
nius, 27, says that Epiphanius had a personal encounter with Hieracas and rebuked him, 
but had this been the case, Epiphanius would have said so here. In fact, at 68,1,2 Epipha- 
nius dates Hieracas in the time of Diocletian. 

2 So at Vit. Epiph. 27. 

3 Holl: sv e^v)yt)o , ei< qjiXoxaXuTaTo? >. 

4 Vit. Epiph. 27 says “not this flesh, but another in its place.” 



whatever texts he could < find > in the sacred scripture to support his 
position, and thus heaped them up and wickedly concocted any old cheap 
fictions for proof of his heresy. (6) But he was awesome in his asceticism, 
and able to win souls to himself; for example, many Egyptian ascetics 
were convinced by him. 1 suppose it was because he took the cue for it 
from Origen that he denied that the resurrection of the dead is a resurrec- 
tion of the flesh — or, spat this up out of his own head. 

1,7 He does not countenance matrimony, and claims that this is an 
an ordinance of the Old Testament. For he recognizes Abraham, Isaac, 
Jacob, Moses, Aaron, and all the saints alike, Isaiah and Jeremiah too, and 
regards them as prophets. (8) He says that the contracting of matrimony is 
permitted in the Old Testament, but that since Christ’s coming marriage is 
no longer accept< able >, 5 (g) and cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven. 

For, he asks, what new thing did the Word come to do? What new mes- 
sage did the Only-begotten come to give and set right? If it was about the 
fear of God, the Law had this. If it was about marriage, the scriptures had 
proclaimed it. If it was about envy, covetousness and iniquity, all this is 
in the Old Testament. But Christ came to make only this correction — to 
preach continence in the world, and choose the pure and the continent 
for his own; and without continence no < one > can be saved. 

2,1 Hieracas collects the warrants for this from all sorts of places — for 
example, when the scriptures say, “and your consecration, without which 
no man shall see God.” 6 (2) And if they ask him, “Why did the apostle say, 
‘Marriage is honorable and the bed undefiled, but whoremongers and adul- 
terers God will judge,’ ” 7 < he replies, “But on the other hand the apostle 
says, ‘It is good for a man not to touch a woman, ’*> 8 (3) and adds immedi- 
ately, < ‘It is good for a man so be.’ ” > 9 And skipping a little he says, “ ‘The 
unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, how she may please 
the Lord, likewise the virgin. But she that is married careth how she may 
please her husband, and is divided.’ 10 (4) Now if there is division, where 
there is division how can there be union? And if the married woman does 
not please God but her husband, how can she have her inheritance with 

5 At Ps.-Ath. Haer., PG 28, 516C, it is said that Hieracas will not accept the marriage 
of Adam and Eve as a precedent for the legitimacy of matrimony because he rejects the 
Old Testament. 

6 Heh 12:14. 

7 Heb 13:4. 

8 1 Cor 7:26. 

9 1 Cor 7:26. 

10 Cf. 1 Cor 7:34. 



God? (5) < The apostle > doesn’t < say >, ‘To avoid fornication, let every 
man have his own wife,’ 11 in order to commend matrimony after the incar- 
nation, but in order to bear with it, to prevent falls into further ruin. ‘For 
there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom 
of heaven’s sake.’ 12 And Paul says, ‘I will that all men be even as I myself.’ 13 
(6) And ‘The kingdom of heaven is likened unto ten virgins, five foolish 
and five wise.’ 14 Wise virgins, foolish virgins, are likened to the kingdom 
of heaven — but virgins! He didn’t say, ‘married persons.’ ” And he heaps 
up a great deal of material of this kind for his supposed abolition of mat- 
rimony, if you please. 

2.7 Hieracas does not accept children who die before the age of 
reason, 15 but excludes them from the hope in which we believe. They can- 
not inherit the kingdom of heaven, he says, because they have not taken 
part in the contest. “For if a man strive, yet is he not crowned except he 
strive lawfully.” 16 If even someone who strives is not crowned unless he 
strives lawfully, how much more those who have not yet been summoned 
to the arena? 

2.8 Again, of course like Origen as I said, he does not believe that Para- 
dise is an actual place or that the resurrection of the dead is a resurrection 
of the flesh. He says that there is a resurrection of the dead but that it is 
a resurrection of souls, and makes up some spiritual mythology, (g) And 
no one can worship with them without being a virgin, a monk, continent 
or a widow. 

3,1 But Hieracas does not agree with Origen about the Father, the 
Son and the Holy Spirit. 17 He believes that the Son is really begotten of 
the Father and, as to the Holy Spirit, < he asserts > that he is the Spirit 
of the Father. (2) He, however, as I remarked above in the Sect of the 
Melchizedekians, claims that the Holy Spirit is Melchizedek himself 18 
because “< the apostle > has said, ‘He rnaketh intercession for us with 
groanings which cannot be uttered.’ 19 And who is this? Who but < ‘he that 

11 1 Cor 7:2. 

12 Matt 19:12. 

13 1 Cor 7:7. 

14 Matt 25:1-2. 

15 Cf. Vit. Epiph. 27. The Greek here is literally, “before knowledge.” 

16 2 Tim 2:5. 

17 Cf. Arius Ep. Ad Alexandrum at Pan. 69,7,6. 

18 Pan. 55,5,2-4. 

19 Rom 8:26. 



was made like unto the Son of God, who > remaineth a priest forever?’ But 
it says, ‘a priest forever,’ 20 because of the intercession.” 

3.3 This Spirit met with Abraham then, since he is like the Son. “And 
this,” says ffieracas, "is why the apostle < says >, ‘without father, without 
mother, without descent.’ 21 ‘Without mother’ ” he says, “because he has no 
mother. ‘Without father’ because he had no father on earth, but is ‘made 
like unto the Son of God, and remaineth a priest forever.’ ” And he talked 
lots of nonsense about the Holy Spirit, and went to a great deal of trouble 
over him. 

3.4 He believes he can draw his clinching proof from the Ascension 
of Isaiah, supposedly because the so-called Ascension tells us that Isaiah 
said, “The angel that walked before me showed me, and he showed me 
and said, ‘Who is that on the right hand of God?’ And I said, ‘Sir, thou 
knowest.’ He said, ‘This is the Beloved. (5) And who is the other, who is 
like him, that hath come from the left?’ And I said, ‘Thou knowest.’ < He 
said >, ‘This is the Holy Spirit, that speaketh in thee and in the proph- 
ets.’ And,” Isaiah says, “ ‘he was like unto the Beloved.’ ” 22 Hieracas utilizes 
this as proof of the scriptural saying, “Made like unto the Son of God, he 
remaineth a priest forever.” 

3,6 Now how many things, even about this, can my mind think of in 
opposition to this phony teaching of his ? (7) He died in old age. He wrote 
both in Greek and in Coptic, expositions he had composed < of > the six 
days of creation, fabricating some legends and pompous allegories. But 
he wrote on any number of other scriptural subjects and composed many 
latter-day psalms. (8) And many of those who believe 23 in his doctrines 
abstain from meat. Hieracas himself really practiced a great deal of asceti- 
cism, but his disciples after him do it hypocritically. He himself abstained 
from all sorts of foods, and denied himself wine as well. (9) And some 
say of him that, although he lived past ninety, he practiced calligraphy 
till the day of his death — he was a calligrapher. For his vision remained 

4,1 All right, let’s investigate this man’s tares too. With which of the 
sacred scripture’s ideas should we join ourselves to scotch this poison- 
ous snake that strikes front and back like a scorpion? For it heaped up 
material from two Testaments to do harm, not as the sacred words are 

20 Heb 7:3. 

21 Heb 7:3. 

22 Asc. Isa. g.33. 

23 Holl xwv 7iei0o(ievcov aiixou xot? Soy^aorv, MSS tcov aXv) 0 iva)v auxou xou Soyfxaxof. 



but as his false thinking formed obscure notions of things that are clear. 
(2) Honey is not nasty or bitter, and neither are the nicer foods God has 
created. But if they are given to a fever patient they seem bitter in his 
mouth, not because the sweet things have turned bitter, but because the 
patient’s taste has imparted bitterness to the things he is given. (3) In the 
same way, no one who has fallen away from the truth has been deceived 
by the truth; he tasted the truth with bitter thoughts and it has been made 
bitter for him. 

4,4 But let’s see, what shall we say about the children — the ones who 
were killed for Christ at once, in Bethlehem of Judaea? Are such as they 
without part in the kingdom of heaven, or do they have a part? They do, 
since they are innocent. (5) For if they have no part in it, then the Lord has 
become an accessory to their murder, for they were killed for him. But if 
they were killed for him and thus had no opportunity to enter the contest 
or gain the prize, then the Lord’s advent, which was intended < for salva- 
tion >, has become harmful to the world instead. For it has become the 
cause of the untimely departure of the babes, since they were punished 
and fell victim to the king’s menace, so that they could not enter the con- 
test to gain its rewards. 

4,6 But let’s look at some other considerations. Call Solomon, the 
blessed and the wisest man of all, to confound this Hieracas! Come here, 
you most blessed of prophets, who “received of the Lord a profusion of 
heart and wisdom, as the sand upon the seashore.” 24 What would you 
think of the children? (7) And Solomon replies, “Old age is not honor- 
able, nor length of life, nor is the reckoning made by number of years. 
Wisdom is an hoary head for men, and a spotless life their old age. For 
in his innocence he was loved by God, and from living among sinners he 
was translated. He was rapt away, lest wickedness alter his understand- 
ing, or guile deceive his soul. For the influence of evil doth weaken things 
that are good, and the wandering of desire doth undermine an harm- 
less mind.” 25 (8) And because he is speaking of children he adds at once, 
“Being perfected in a short time he fulfilled < long years >” 26 — that is to 
say, he lived for many years even though he died young. “For his soul was 
pleasing unto the Lord, therefore he hasted to remove him from the midst 

24 3 Kms 5:9. 

25 Wisd Sol 4:8-12. 

26 Wisd Sol 4:13. 



of wickedness.” 27 (g) And to Jeremiah the Lord says, “Before thou camnest 
forth from the womb I sanctified thee.” 28 

5.1 But let’s look at the Savior himself, the mouth that cannot lie, the 
one that knows all things. Come here, Lord, and lend your aid to our 
minds, but confound Hieracas and his rashness! (2) Scripture says, “There 
came unto him little children, that he might put his hands on them and 
bless them. But the disciples thrust them away and forbade them. But he 
said unto them, Suffer the little children, and forbid them not, to come 
unto me. For of such is the kingdom of God. 29 (3) And lest it be thought 
that the kingdom of heaven is composed solely of children and < seems* > 
not to < extend to* > all ages, he begins with the children, but has granted 
those who are like them to possess the inheritance with them. (4) For if 
those who are like them can reign, how much more the models for those 
who are like them? And Hieracas’ fairy story has fallen flat. 

5,5 For the Lord is merciful to all. “The Lord keepeth guard over the 
little ones,” 30 and, “Praise the Lord, ye children.” 31 And the children cried 
out, “Hosannah in the highest, blessed is he that cometh in the name of 
the Lord.” 32 And, “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast thou 
perfected praise.” 33 And there are any number of other texts like them. 

6.1 But as to the resurrection of the flesh, Hieracas you would-be sage, 
how can there not be a resurrection of flesh? The term itself shows the 
meaning of the expression. We cannot speak of the “rising” of something 
that has not fallen. (2) But what is it that fell? What was buried? What 
was destroyed but the body, and not the soul? A soul neither falls nor is 
buried. And how much is there to be said about this? We cannot speak of 
the resurrection of a soul; it is the body that is raised. 

6,3 And as to the selection the Savior came to make of virgins, the con- 
tinent, and the pure — to whom is it not plain that there is an election, and 
that < virginity* > is the pride of the holy catholic and apostolic church? 
< But the Savior accepts* > persons who are in lawful wedlock as well; for 
he is out to save “every man in his own order.” 34 (4) How can “marriage” 

27 Wisd Sol 4:14. 

28 Jer 1:5. 

29 Matt 19:13-14. 

30 Ps 114:6. 

31 Ps 112:1. 

32 Matt 21:9. 

33 Ps 8:3. 

34 1 Cor 15:23. 



not be “honorable” 35 and possess the kingdom of heaven in God, when 
the Savior was invited to a wedding for the purpose of blessing marriage? 
If he had refused to go to a wedding he would have been a destroyer 
of matrimony, and not the One who accepts each one, from pity for his 
weakness. Marriage is honorable, then, for he himself has so designated it. 
(5) This is why he went to a wedding — to stop the mouths of those who 
speak against the truth. 

For Jesus performed a first miracle there in Cana of Galilee, by turning 
the water into wine. (6) As he had dawned from a virgin to show the light 
that dawned from the virgin to the world, so he performed his first miracle 
at a wedding in Cana of Galilee — to honor virginity by his conception and 
the ray of light that dawned through it, but to honor lawful wedlock by 
his miracles for he performed his first at a wedding, changing the water 
to unmixed wine. 

6,7 Similarly, if marriage was wrong why does the teacher of the gen- 
tiles command it, as he says, “Younger widows refuse. For after they wax 
wanton against Christ, they will marry, having damnation, because they 
have cast off their first faith.” 36 (8) What does he say then? “But let them 
marry, bear children, guide the house.” 37 If Paul allows these things, how 
can you, Hieracas, teach that marriage is to be rejected after Christ’s 

7.1 And as to your assertion that Melchizedek himself is the Spirit — in 
that case, the Spirit came and took flesh. It cannot, then, be just the Only- 
begotten who has been born in the flesh; the Spirit must have been too. 
But if the Spirit was born in the flesh — well, it was Mary who bore the 
Savior. Hieracas should say where the mother is who bore the Spirit. 

7.2 And in saying, “Made like unto the Son of God he remaineth a 
priest forever,” 38 the scripture cannot be referring to the Holy Spirit. (3) It 
didn’t say, "like the Son of God,” but, “made like.” Now “made like” refers 
to something that came to be at a later date. But if the Spirit is “made 
like” Christ after the time of Abraham, there was a time when there was 
no Spirit, and this is why he was “made like” the Son of God. 

And how can he be “without father?” (4) If the Spirit is self-existent and 
not of the Godhead’s own essence, it can fairly be shown that he is “without 
father.” And indeed, the Son is only-begotten and has no brother, but is the 

35 Heb 3:4. 

36 1 Tim 5:11. 

37 1 Tim 5:14. 

38 Heb 7:3. 



Son of God. (5) But even if we say that the Spirit is not begotten, since 
the Son is on/y-begotten, Christ still says that the Spirit “proceeded” from 
the Father” and “receiveth of the Son.” 39 Hence the Spirit who “proceedeth 
from the Father” and "receiveth of me,” cannot be “without father.” 

7,6 Even if he means “ ‘without mother’ in heaven and ‘without father’ 
on earth” — for this can also be said of the Savior — why does the apostle 
explain this at the end by saying, “He whose descent is not counted from 
them received tithes of the patriarch Abraham?” 40 (7) [The phrase], “from 
them” is indicative of precise expression; for since his descent was not 
counted from the children of Israel he must surely have been descended 
from other nations. But because his father and mother are not recorded 
in the scriptures, those who misrepresent the truth imagine one thing in 
place of another. (8) I, though, have found both his mother and his father 
in traditions; he was descended from the Sidonians and the Canaanites. 
Thus his fairy story has crumbled. And his ascetic practice is of no avail; 
to settle for lifeless things coupled with wrong belief is no school of life 
and the hope of salvation. Scripture says, “Let all things be done to the 
glory of God.” 41 

8,1 But here too, I believe enough has been said about them. We have 
broken the scorpion’s wings and pulled its powers down. For Hieracas is a 
winged snake and scorpion which has wings of many kinds, and flies, and 
mimics the church’s virginity but without a clear conscience. (2) For he 
and people like him are instances of “Having their conscience seared with 
an hot iron; and forbidding to marry, and to abstain from meats which 
God hath made to be received. For they are sanctified by the word of 
the living God and prayer, since all things are good and wholesome, and 
nothing is abominable with God.” 42 

8,3 However, they are a complete laughing-stock because of the adop- 
tive wives each of them has acquired, whom they are at pains to have for 
domestic service. (4) But as I said, we have pulled his wings off too, and 
broken his head with the wood of life, the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
Let us go on to the rest, calling on God himself to aid us, so that we may 
reply to the remaining sects, and refute the heresies they palm vainly off 
on the world. 

39 John 15:26; 16:15. 

40 Heb 7:6. 

41 1 Cor 10:31. 

42 Cf. 1 Tim 4:2-4. 



< Against > the Schism ofMelitius the Egyptian. 1 

48, but 68 of the series 

1,1 There is a party of Melitians in Egypt whose founder was Melitius, a 
bishop in the Thebaid. He belonged to the catholic church and was of 
the orthodox faith, for his faith did not vary in any way from that of the 
holy catholic church. (2) Melitius was a contemporary of Hieracas, flour- 
ished at the same time as he, and became his successor. He was also a 
contemporary of St. Peter the bishop of Alexandria. (3) And all of these 
lived during the persecution in the reigns of Diocletian and Maximian. 
The affair of Melitius took place as follows. 

1.4 He instigated a schism, but in no sense by an alteration of the faith. 
He was arrested during the persecution, with the holy bishop and martyr, 
Peter, and the other martyrs, by the officials the emperor had assigned to 
the task, the governors of Alexandria and Egypt at the time. (Culcianus 
was prefect of the Thebaid, and Hierocles, prefect of Alexandria.) 2 

1.5 Melitius too was confined in the prison, he and the martyrs we 
spoke of, with Peter the archbishop of Alexandria. Indeed, Melitius him- 
self was held to be the first < of the bishops* > 3 in Egypt, (6) and second 
to Peter in the archiepiscopate, in order to assist him; but he was under 
him and referred ecclesiastical matters to him. (7) For it is the custom 
for the archbishop in Alexandria to have the ecclesiastical administration 
of all Egypt and the Thebaid, Mareotis, Libya, Ammon, Marmarica and 

1,8 Now all these had been arrested and were in prison awaiting mar- 
tyrdom, and had remained in confinement for some time. Others, who 
had been condemned before them, were martyred, received their reward, 
and fell asleep; but these, as eminent and more important prisoners, were 
being kept for later. (2,1) And since some had been martyred, but oth- 
ers had missed martyrdom and committed the enormity of idol worship, 
those who had even been forced to partake of sacrifices since they had 
fallen away, and had offered sacrifice and committed the transgression, 

1 Some of Epiphanius' information comes from Athanasius' Apologia Secunda, but 
Epiphanius has other sources, including oral ones (cf. 3,1; 8). He is far more sympathetic to 
Melitius than was Athanasius. His account of Arius’ death might be based on Athanasius' 
Ad Serapionem, De Morte Arii. 

2 In fact Culcianus seems to have been the Prefect of Egypt, and Hierocles his suc- 
cessor. See Holl ad loc. 

3 Or, “was regarded as < responsible for* > affairs in Egypt and < foremost* > in rank,” 
Amidon's rendering of Hall’s alternative emendation. 



approached the confessors and martyrs to obtain the mercy of penance. 
Some were soldiers, but others were clergy of various ranks, the presbyter- 
ate, the diaconate and others. 

2,2 There was a disturbance over this among the martyrs and no little 
trouble. For some said that persons who had once fallen away, denied 
the faith, and failed to maintain their courage or take part in the contest, 
should not be allowed penance. Otherwise the ones who were still left 
would have less regard for the penalty, and would be misled because of 
the forgiveness so speedily accorded the others, and come to the denial 
of God and the enormity of paganism. And the thing that was said by the 
confessors themselves was reasonable. (3) Those who said this were Meli- 
tius and Peleus, and more of the other martyrs and confessors with them. 
And since they had shown their zeal for God they obviously convinced 

< many > 4 by saying it. 

2.4 They also went on to say, “If penance should be granted them after 
some time when the persecution is over, when peace has been restored — 
provided that they truly repent and show the fruit of repentance — it cer- 
tainly should not mean that each be taken back in his own order. They 
may be received into the church and its communion after an interval, 

< but > into the order < of laity >, not as clergy.” And this showed respect 
for the truth and was full of zeal. 

3.1 But the most holy Peter, a kindly man and like a father to all, begged 
and pleaded, “Let us receive them and set them a penance if they repent, 
so that they will hold by the church, and let us not turn them out of their 
offices either” — or so I have been told. “Otherwise they < will be > dis- 
graced, and those who, from cowardice and weakness, were once shaken 
and undermined by the devil, may be perverted entirely because of the 
delay, and not healed [at all]. As the scripture says, ‘Let that which is lame 
not be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.’ ” 5 

3.2 And Peter’s argument was on the side of mercy and kindness, and 
that of Melitius and his supporters on the side of truth and zeal. Then and 
there the schism started up, in the form of the seemingly godly proposals 
of both parties; 6 with some saying one thing, some the other. 

3.3 For when Peter the archbishop saw that Melitius’ party withstood 
his kindliness and were carried to extremes by their zeal for God, he 

4 Holl E7TE10EV < 710^.01$ >, MSS ETZOUT/OV. 

5 Heb. 12:13. 

6 Athanasius, in contrast, says that Peter deposed Melitius for cause at a council, and 
that Melitius retaliated by starting the schism, Ath. Ap. Sec. 59.1. 



himself hung a curtain in the middle of the prison by spreading out an 
himation — that is, a cloak or pallium — and proclaimed < through > a dea- 
con, “Let those who are of my opinion come here to me; and let those who 
are of Melitius’, to Melitius.” 

3.4 And the majority of bishops, presbyters and the other orders sided 
with Melitius; but a very few, bishops and a few others, < went > with Peter 
the archbishop. And after that the one group prayed by itself and the other 
by itself, and in the same way each held its other services separately. 

3.5 Peter’s martyrdom came and the blessed man was perfected, leav- 
ing Alexander as his successor in Alexandria. For he succeeded to the 
throne after Peter. (6) But Melitius and many others were sentenced to 
exile, and banished to the mines at Phaeno. 

At that time those who were dragged off because of being confessors 
< went into schism* > with Melitius. Melitius himself, in prison < and > on 
his journey as he passed through every country and area, ordained clergy — 
bishops, presbyters and deacons — and founded his own churches. And 
the first group would not communicate with the second, nor the second 
with the first. (7) But each put a sign on its own church. Those who held 
the existing, old churches in succession from Peter, labeled theirs, “Catho- 
lic Church”; Melitius’ succession labeled theirs, “Church of the Martyrs.” 
(8) And so Melitius ordained many clergy in this way at Eleutheropolis, 
Gaza and Aelia, on his arrival. 

3,9 Melitius served further time in the mines. Afterwards, however, the 
confessors were released from the mines, those of Peter’s party — for there 
were still many — and those of Melitius’. For they did not communicate or 
pray with each other even in the mines. 

But it was given Melitius to live in the world for a while longer, so that 
he flourished at the same time as Peter’s successor, Alexander, and was on 
good terms < with him >. And he was anxious over the state of the church 
and the faith; for 1 have frequently said that he held no divergent beliefs. 

4,1 For after he had come to Alexandria and spent some time there, 
holding his own assemblies with his own people, Melitius himself detected 
Arius. And as it was rumored that Arius, in his expositions, had gone 
beyond the prescribed bounds of the faith, he brought him to Alexander. 
(2) Arius was a presbyter at the church in Alexandria which is called Bau- 
calis. There was one presbyter assigned to a church — for there were many 
churches, but now there are more — and the church was entrusted to him, 
even if there was another presbyter with him. When 1 need to 1 shall speak 
of these things in detail, at the proper place. 



Since Alexander had zealously detected Arius, he summoned bishops, 
< called > a council and examined him, inquiring about his faith and 
demanding < an accounting > from Arius for the corruption of the heresy 
which had infected him. (3) And Arius denied nothing but indeed, bra- 
zenly replied that it was so. And Alexander excommunicated him, and 
with him there were excommunicated a large number, the virgins and 
other clergy who had been polluted by him. 

4,4 Arius fled and made his way to Palestine. But when he reached 
Nicomedia and from there wrote letters to Alexander, he did not abandon 
the insane spirit of his heresy. (5) A little later, however, when Alexander, 
the holy bishop in Alexandria, had taken pains to arouse the blessed Con- 
stantine, Constantine called a council in the city of Nicaea. 

4,6 And Arius’ sect was anathematized. < But > after < Alexander died, 
Arius wished to be received back into the church* >. For he first denied 
his heresy before the blessed emperor Constantine, and pretendedly pro- 
fessed the orthodox formularies under oath. (7) But the emperor said to 
him, “If you are swearing with full sincerity, may your oath be confirmed, 
and you guiltless. But if you are swearing guilefully, may < God >, by whom 
you have sworn, take the vengeance on you!” 7 And this happened to him 
not long afterwards, as I shall say later. 

4,8 In connivance with Eusebius the bishop of Nicomedia, who 
held the same beliefs as he, Arius was presented to the same emperor 
as having supposedly denied and condemned his heresy. And so 
Constantine directed and permitted Eusebius to receive Arius into the 
church at Constantinople in the presence of the bishop Alexander, who 
had the same name as the bishop of Alexandria but was the bishop of 

5,1 But now, after the death of the confessor Melitius, Alexander of 
blessed memory, of Alexandria, renewed his anger against the schism in 
the church, and decided to offer every kind of harassment and hindrance 
to those who assembled by themselves and whom Melitius had left behind 
him, and forcibly prevent them from rebelling against the one church. But 
they were unwilling and caused trouble and disturbances. (2) And then, 
because of their oppression and restraint by the blessed Alexander, certain 
of them, who were the foremost and preeminent for their piety and life, 
undertook the journey to court with a petition, to request the privilege of 

7 Ath. Ep. Ad Serap. De Morte Arii, PG 25, 688A. 



assembling by themselves without hindrance. (3) Those who did so were 
an important man named Paphnutius, an anchorite who was himself the 
son of a female confessor < and > had nearly been a confessor himself on 
a number of occasions; one of their bishops, John, also a highly respected 
man; and the bishop in Pelusium, Callinicus; 8 and certain others. (4) But 
when they went with their petition for the emperor, they were turned 
away and rebuffed. (5) For when the court officials heard the name, “Meli- 
tians,” and did not know what that might be, they would not let them 
petition the emperor. 

6,1 During this affair Paphnutius, John and < the > others had occa- 
sion to spend some time in Constantinople and Nicomedia. They became 
friends at this time with the bishop of Nicomedia, Eusebius, told him 
their story — they knew he had access to the emperor Constantine — and 
asked for his introduction to the emperor. (2) But after promising to pres- 
ent them to the emperor and do what they asked, he made this request 
of them — that they receive Arius, who was falsely feigning repentance, 9 
into communion with them. (3) They promised him, and then Eusebius 
brought them to the emperor and explained their situation to him; and 
the emperor granted the Melitians permission to assemble by themselves 
from then on, without disturbance from anyone. 

6,4 If only these Melitians, who had received the absolutely correct 
form of the truth, had communicated with the lapsees after penance 
instead of with Arius and his followers! (5) Theirs has been the proverbial 
fate of fleeing the smoke to fall into the fire. Arius could not have gained 
a foothold and voice except through this business, which has become an 
evil alliance for them even now. For the Melitians, who were once simon 
pure and absolutely correct in their faith, have gotten mixed in among 
the disciples of Arius. (6) And by now most of them have been defiled 
by Arius’ heresy, and been turned away from the faith in our time. Even 
though some have continued to hold the true faith, they hold it, but, 
because of their communion with Arius and the Arians, are by no means 
out of the slimy muck. 

6,7 But a little later — for as I promised to tell the whole business, I 
shall repeat it here — Alexander the bishop of Constantinople was com- 
pelled to receive Arius, although he prayed, groaned, and knelt before the 

8 John and Callinicus are numbers 25 and 34 in the list of Melitian bishops which 
Melitius is said to have furnished Alexander, Ath. Apol. Sec. 71.6. 

9 At Apol. Sec. 59.4 Athanasius claims that Eusebius took the initiative in courting 
the Melitians. 



altar about the ninth hour of the Sabbath. And Eusebius said, “If you won’t 
receive him willingly yourself he’ll enter the church with me against your 
will tomorrow” — and the Lord’s Day was dawning. (8) But as I said, after 
Alexander had prayed and besought our Lord either to take him away 
so that he would not be defiled with the blasphemer of the Lord, Arius, 
or else to work a wonder, as he does in every generation, the holy man’s 
prayer was answered with small delay, (g) That night Arius went to the 
privy to relieve himself, and, like Judas once, burst. And thus his end came 
in a foul, unclean place. 

7,1 Then, after this, their plots against the church were hatched by 
Arius’ disciples. Alexander of Alexandria died after the council in Nicaea. 
(2) But Athanasius was not there (i.e., in Alexandria) after Alexander’s 
death; he was a deacon under Alexander at that time, and had been sent 
to court by him. 10 (3) Although Alexander had given orders that no one 
but Athanasius be consecrated bishop — as he himself, and the clergy tes- 
tified, and the whole church — the Melitians seized the opportunity and, 
since there was no bishop in Alexandria (Alexandria has never had two 
bishops, like the other cities) they consecrated a man named Theonas 
as bishop of Egypt in Alexander’s place. And three months later he died. 
(4) Not long after Theonas’ death, Athanasius arrived. And a council of 
orthodox bishops was summoned from all quarters. And thus Athanasius’ 
consecration took place and the throne was given to him, the man who 
was worthy of it and for whom it had been prepared, in accordance with 
God’s will and the testimony and command of < the > blessed Alexander. 

7,5 And then Athanasius began to be distressed and saddened by the 
church’s division, between the Melitians and the catholic church. He 
pleaded with them, exhorted them, and they would not listen; he pressed 
and urged them < and they would not obey* >. 

Now Athanasius often visited the churches nearby, particularly the 
ones in Mareotis. (6) And once when the Melitians were holding a service 
a deacon, together with some laity, came rushing out of the crowd that 
was with Alexander and broke a lamp — as the story goes — and a fight 
broke out. * 11 (7) This was the beginning of the intrigue against Athanasius, 
for the Melitians brought charges and false accusations against him, and 
misrepresented the facts, with the Arians lending their assistance to thse 
plot because of their envy of God’s holy faith, and of orthodoxy. (8) And 

10 Cf. Ath. Ap. Sec. 6.1-2. 

11 Cf. Ath. Ap. Sec. 63.2-4. 

33 ° 


they communicated with the emperor Constantine. But Eusebius, who, as 
I said, was the bishop of Nicomedia, was flunky to their whole gang, and 
the one who plotted the injury to the church and Pope Athanasius. 

So the accusers went to the emperor and said that the implement 
which some, as I told you, said was a torch, was a vessel for the mysteries. 
(9) And they made certain other accusations. They claimed that a presby- 
ter in Mareotis named Arsenius had been struck, and that his hand had 
been cut off with a sword, either by Athanasius’ people or by Athanasius 
himself. 12 They even brought a hand to court and displayed it — it was in 
a box. 13 

8,1 On hearing this, the emperor grew angry. The blessed Constantine 
had a zeal for God; he had no idea that they were false accusers because 
of the Arians’ anger against orthodoxy, which we have mentioned. And he 
commanded that a council be convened in Phoenicia, in the city of Tyre. 14 
(2) He ordered Eusebius of Caesarea and certain others to sit as judges; if 
anything, however, they had a certain leaning towards the Arians’ vulgar 
rant. And bishops of the Catholic church of Egypt were summoned, who 
< were > under Athanasius — eminent, distinguished men with illustrious 
lives in God. Among them was the blessed Potamon the Great, the bishop 
of Hieracleopolis and a confessor. And the Melitians were summoned as 
well, especially Athanasius’ accusers. 

8,3 The blessed Potamon was a zealot for truth and orthodoxy, a free- 
spoken man who had never shown partiality. His eye had been put out 
for the truth during the persecution. When he saw Eusebius sitting on the 
judge’s bench and Athanasius standing, he was overcome with grief and 
wept, as honest men will, and shouted at Eusebius, (4) "Are you seated, 
Eusebius, with Athanasius before you in the dock, when he’s innocent? 
Who can put up with things like that? Tell me — weren’t you in prison 
with me during the persecution? I lost an eye for the truth, but you don’t 
appear to be maimed and weren’t martyred; you stand here alive without 
a mark on you. How did you get out of jail, if you didn’t promise our per- 
secutors to do the unthinkable — or if you didn’t do it?” 15 

8,5 On hearing this Eusebius was roused to indignation. He arose and 
dismissed the court, saying, “If you’ve come here and answer me like that, 

12 Cf. Ath. Ap. Sec. 65.2 — 5. 

13 Cf. Theodoret H. E. 1.30; Soc. 1.29.6; Soz. 2.25.10; Rufinus 10.16. 

14 Cf. Ath. Ap. Sec. 71.2 — 79.4; Eus. Vit. Const. 4.41-45.3; Socr 1.28-33; Soz. 2.25.10; Rufi- 
nus 10.16; Theodoret H. E. 1.28.4; Philostorgius 2.11. 

15 Cf. Ath. Ap. Sec. 72.4. 



your accusers are telling the truth. If you’re playing the tyrant here, you’d 
much better go on home.” 

9.1 Then Eusebius and his fellow judges undertook to send two Pan- 
nonian bishops with Arian views, Ursaces and Valens, to Alexandria and 
Mareotis, where they said these things had happened — the affair of the 
vessel and the other circumstances of the fight. 16 (2) But although they 
went they did not bring back anything true but made up one perjury 17 
after another, and brought false charges against the blessed Pope Atha- 
nasius. (3) And, fabricating them in writing as truth, they took them and 
referred them to the council of Eusebius and the others. Ursacius and 
Valens revealed this later by repenting, approaching the blessed Julius, 
the bishop of Rome, with a petition, and saying in admission of their fault, 
“We have accused Pope Athanasius falsely; but receive us into commu- 
nion and penance.” 18 

(4) And they sent their confirmations of this, writen in repentance, to 
Athanasius himself. 19 At Tyre Pope Athanasius, seeing that the plot he was 
faced with was in all respects a serious one, fled by night before his trial 
and confrontation with the false charges, came to Constantine at court, 
and gave him his side of the story with an explanation. 20 

(5) Constantine was still aggrieved, however, and remained angry 
because he thought that the accusers might well be telling the truth and 
the accused offering a false defense. But in spite of his anger Pope Athana- 
sius sternly told the emperor, “God will judge between you and me, just as 
surely as you are in agreement with the traducers of my poor self.” (6) And 
then he was condemned to exile because of what the council had written 
the emperor — (for they deposed Athanasius in absentia ) — and because of 
which the emperor was displeased, being angry with Athanasius. And he 
lived in Italy for more than twelve or fourteen years. 

10.1 Later it was widely reported that Arsenius, whom the traducers 
had originally reported as dead and whose hand was said to be cut off, 
had been found in Arabia, and that Arsenius had actually made him- 
self known to Athanasius in exile. 21 And Pope Athanasius sent for him 
secretly, as I have been told; and when Arsenius had come in person to 

16 Cf. Ath. Ap. Sec. 72.4. 

17 Holl 7rap£U7<p£povT£<;, MSS TTapoiXCopyjowrEp. 

18 Cf. their letters to Julius and Athanasius at Ath. Ap. Sec. 58.1-6. 

19 Ath. Ap. Sec. 9.2. 

20 Ath. Ap. Sec. 9.2. 

21 Ath. Ap. Sec. 8.4-5; 7 2 - 2 - 



the blessed Athanasius himself, < they came > together to Constantine’s 
sons, Constans and Constantius, Athanasius exhibited Arsenius alive and 
with two hands, and it became clear that his accusers were guilty not only 
of slander but of grave-robbing, because of the dead hand they used to 
carry around. 22 (2) And this made the whole thing ridiculous, and there 
was astonishment at such fabrication and so much of it, and no one had 
any idea of what to say of the accusers, the accused, and all the other 
things — which will take a great deal of time < if I choose > to tell even 
part of them. 

10,3 But Constantine died, and Pope Athanasius < had become > very 
much at home, esteemed and welcome < at > Rome and all over Italy, and 
with the emperor himself and his sons, Constans and Constantius. After 
the death of Constantine the Great he was sent < to Alexandria* > by the 
two emperors, although Constantius was at Antioch and gave his con- 
sent < through > his representatives and by a letter < to Alexandria* >, as 
I know from the three emperors’ < letters* > to the Alexandrians, and to 
Pope Athanasius himself. 23 (4) And once again he occupied his throne 
after his successor Gregory, < who > had been sent by the Arians while 
Athanasius was in exile. 

11,1 But he was again intrigued against, to Constantius by Stephen, 
and expelled. And after that he was intrigued against once more, by the 
eunuch Leontius and his supporters. He incurred banishment then, and 
another recall. For George was sent [to Alexandria] by Constantius, and 
Athanasius withdrew and went into hiding for a while, 24 until George 
was killed, at which time Julian came to the throne and after Constan- 
tius’ death reverted to Hellenism. (2) For the Alexandrians had nourished 
anger at George and they killed him, burned his body, reduced it to ashes, 
and scattered it to the winds. (3) But after Julian had died in Persia and 
the blessed Jovian had succeeded to the empire, he wrote to the bishop 
Athanasius with great honor and a memorable letter; and he sent for him, 
embraced him, and sent him to his own throne, and the holy church had 
received its bishop back and was comforted for a short while. 

After Jovian’s death the blessed Athanasius was once more assailed by 
the same persecutions, defamations and disturbances. (4) He was not, 
indeed, driven from the church and his throne; the Alexandrians had 

22 Cf. Ath. Ap. Sec. 64.1-69.4. 

23 Cf. Ath. Hist. Ar. 8.1-2; Ap. Sec. 64.1-69.4. 

24 Cf. Ath. Ap. De Fuga 2-3. 



sent an embassy on his behalf, and the entire city had demanded him 
after Lucius, < who is > bishop now, had been consecrated abroad as the 
Arian < bishop of Alexandria >. It is likely that at Antioch, and a num- 
ber of times, he had urged the emperor Valens that he be sent to the 
throne [of Alexandria], <but that the emperor* >, who was unwilling to 
expel Athanasius for fear of a disturbance among the people, < had not 
heeded him* >. (5) Indeed, Lucius was finally sent when Pope Athanasius 
died, and did much harm to church and city — to the laity, bishops and 
clergy who had been under Athanasius and had received him in every 
church, and to Peter, who had been consecrated as Athanasius’ successor 
in Alexandria. 

11,6 This is still the situation. Some have been exiled — bishops, presby- 
ters and deacons — others have been subjected to capital punishment in 
Alexandria, and others sent to the arena; and virgins have been killed, and 
many others are perishing. (7) God’s church is still in this plight because 
of the affair of the Melitians and Arians, who have used means of this sort 
to gain their foothold, and < the opportunity > for the same heretical gang, 
I mean the gang of Arians, to win out. (8) I shall discuss all this in detail 
in my refutation of Arius. 

But I shall pass this subject by as well and go on to the Arian sect itself, 
calling on God for aid as I approach this fearful, many-headed serpent to 
battle with it. 

Against the Arian Nuts 1 49, but 69 of the series 

1,1 Arius and the Arians who derive from him came directly after this 
time of Melitius and St. Peter the bishop of Alexandria. Arius flourished 
during the episcopate of Peter’s successor, the holy bishop Alexander, 
who deposed him amid much turmoil and with a great council. For Alex- 
ander removed him from office and expelled him from the church and 
the city, as a great evil which had come to the world. (2) They say that 
Arius was Libyan, but that he had become a presbyter in Alexandria. He 

1 The literary sources of this Sect include Arius’ letters to Eusebius of Nicomedia 
(6,1-7) and Alexander of Alexandria (7, 1-8, 5); the beginning of Constantine’s dubious 
Encyclical against Arius (cf. Ath. Nic. 40.1-2); Athanasius’ Apologia Secunda and Epistula 
Ad Serapionem De Morte Arii. There may be some debt to Athanasius’ Orationes Contra 
Arium. If there is another literary source it is probably an Arian tract or some compendium 
of Arian proof texts. The bulk of Epiphanius' refutation of Arianism clearly bears the marks 
of his own style and thought. 



presided over the church called the Church of Baucalis. All the catholic 
churches in Alexandria < are > under one archbishop, and presbyters have 
been assigned to each particular church to meet the ecclesiastical needs 
of the residents whose < homes are* > near each church. These are also 
called quarters and lanes by the inhabitants of Alexandria. 

1,3 Arius was born during the reign of the great and blessed emperor 
Constantine, the son of Constantius in his old age. Constantius was the 
son of the emperor Valerian, < who > himself had ruled jointly with 
Diocletian, Maximian and the others. (4) Everyone knows that Constan- 
tine, the father of Constantius, Constans and Crispus, was admirable in 
the practice of Christianity and the apostolic and prophetic faith of the 
fathers, which had not been adulterated in the holy churches until the 
time of Arius himself. But Arius managed to detach a large number [from 
the church.] 

2.1 A spirit of Satan, as scripture says, entered this Arius who was 
Alexander’s presbyter, and incited him to stir up the dust against the 
church — < just as > no small fire was lit from him, and it caught on nearly 
the whole Roman realm, especially the east. Even today his sect has not 
stopped battling against the true faith. 

2.2 But at that time Arius was to all appearances a presbyter, and 
there were many fellow presbyters of his in each church. (There are many 
churches in Alexandria, including the recently built Caesarium, as it is 
called, which was originally the Adrianum and later became the Licinian 
gymnasium or palace. (3) But later, in Constantius’ time, it was decided 
to rebuild it as a church. Gregory the son of Melitian, and Arian, began 
it, and the blessed Athanasius, the father of orthodoxy, finished it. It was 
burned in Julian’s time, and rebuilt by the blessed bishop Athanasius him- 
self. (4) But as I said there are many others, the one called the Church of 
Dionysius, and those of Theonas, Pierius, Serapion, Persaea, Dizya, Men- 
didius, Ammianus, and the church Baucalis and others.) 

2,5 A presbyter named Colluthus served in one of these, Carpones in 
another, Sarmatas in another, and the aforesaid Arius, who was in charge 
of one of these churches. (6) It is plain that each of these caused some dis- 
cord among the laity by his expositions, when, at the regular services, he 
taught the people entrusted to his care. Some were inclined to Arius, but 
others to Colluthus, others to Carpones, others to Sarmatas. Since each of 
them expounded the scripture differently in his own church, from their 
preference and high regard for their own presbyter some people called 
themselves Colluthians, and others called themselves Arians. (7) And in 



fact Colluthus < too > taught some perversions, but his sect did not survive 
and was scattered immediately. And if only this were also true of Arius’ 
insane faith, or better, unfaith — or better, wicked faith! 

3,1 For in his later years he was inspired by vanity to depart from the 
prescribed path. He was unusually tall, wore a downcast expression and 
was got up like a guileful serpent, able to steal every innocent heart by his 
villainous outer show. For he always wore a short cloak and a dalmatic 2 
was pleasant in his speech, and was constantly winning souls round by 
flattery. (2) For example, what did he do but lure all of seventy virgins 
away from the church at one time! And the word is that he drew seven 
presbyters away, and twelve deacons. 3 And his plague immediately spread 
to bishops, for he convinced Secundus of Pentapolis and others to be car- 
ried away with him. (3) But all this went on in the church without the 
knowledge of the blessed Alexander, the bishop, until Melitius, the bishop 
of Egypt from the Thebaid whom I mentioned, who was regarded as an 
archbishop himself — the affair of Melitius had not yet reached the point 
of wicked enmity. (4) Moved by zeal, then — he did not differ in faith, 
only in his show of would-be righteousness, < because of > which he did 
the world great harm himself, as I have explained. Well then, Melitius, the 
archbishop in Egypt but supposed to be under Alexander’s jurisdiction, 
brought this to the attention of the archbishop Alexander. As I have said, 
Melitius was contemporary with the blessed bishop and martyr Peter. 

3,5 When Melitius had given all this information about Arius — how 
he had departed from the truth, had defiled and ruined many, and had 
gradually weaned his converts away from the right faith — the bishop sent 
for Arius himself and asked whether what he had been told about him was 
true. (6) Arius showed neither hesitancy nor fear but brazenly coughed 
his whole heresy up from the first — as his letters show and the inves- 
tigation of him at the time. (7) And so Alexander called the presbytery 
together, and certain other bishops who were there [at the time], and held 
an examination and interrogation of Arius. But since he would not obey 
the truth Alexander expelled him and declared him outcast in the city. 
But the virgins we spoke of were drawn away from the faith with him, and 
the clergy we mentioned, and a great throng of others. 

2 Both of these garments were sometimes worn by monks. 

3 Cf. Soc. 1.6.8; Soz. 1.15.7; Gel- 2.3.6; Theod. 1.4.61. 



4.1 But though Arius stayed in the city for a long time, the confes- 
sor and martyr Melitius immediately died. Arius, then, destroyed many 
by instigating schisms and leading everyone astray. Later though, since 
he had been discovered and exposed in the city and excommunicated, 
he fled from Alexandria and made < his > way to Palestine. (2) And on 
his arrival he approached each bishop with fawning and flattery in the 
hope of gaining many supporters. And some received him, while others 
rebuffed him. 

4,3 Afterwards this came to the ears of the bishop Alexander, and 
he wrote encyclical letters to each bishop which are still preserved by 
the scholarly, about seventy in all. He wrote at once to Eusebius in Cae- 
sarea — he was alive — and to Macarius of Jerusalem, Asclepius in Gaza, 
Longinus in Ascalon, Macrinus in Jamnia, and others; and in Phoenicia 
to Zeno, a senior bishop in Tyre, and others, along with < the bishops > 
in Coele Syria. (4) When the letters had been sent reproving those who 
had received Arius, each bishop replied to the blessed Alexander with 
his explanation. (5) And some wrote deceitfully, others truthfully, some 
explaining that they had not received him, others, that they had received 
him in ignorance, and others that they had done it to win him by hospital- 
ity. And this is a long story. 

5.1 Later, when Arius found that letters had been sent to the bishops 
everywhere, and that afterwards he was turned away from every door 
and none but his sympathizers would take him in any more — (2) (for the 
elderly senior bishop of Nicomedia, Eusebius, was a sympathizer of his 4 
together with Lucius, his colleague in Nicomedia. And so was Leontius, the 
eunuch in Antioch who had not yet been entrusted with the episcopate, 
and certain others. Since all of them belonged to the same noxious brother- 
hood, Eusebius sheltered him for some time). (3) And so at that time this 
Arius wrote and addressed letters full of all sorts of foolishness, which 
contained the whole of his heretical creed, to Eusebius in Nicomedia, this 
before he had come to him in Nicomedia, putting in them no more than 
what he really thought. 1 feel obliged to offer one of them here which has 
come into my hands, so that the readers can see that 1 have neither said 
nor am saying anything slanderous against anyone. Here is the letter: 5 

4 Holl u7ioupYo;, MSS x°P°S- 

5 Cf. Theodoret Haer. 1.5.1-4. 



6.1 Greetings in the Lord from Arius, unjustly persecuted by Pope Alexan- 
der for the all-conquering truth of which you too are a defender, to the most 
beloved man of God, the faithful and orthodox Master Eusebius. 

6.2 As my father Ammonius is arriving in Nicomedia it seems to me rea- 
sonable and proper to address you through him, at the same time recalling 
your characteristic love and [kindly] disposition toward the brethren for the 
sake of God and his Christ. For the bishop is harassing and persecuting us 
severely, and stirring up every sort of evil against us, (3) so that he has driven 
us from the city as godless men because we do not agree with his public 
declaration, “Always God, always a Son. Together with a Father, a Son. The 
Son co-exists with God without origination, ever begotten, begotten without 
origination. Not by a thought or a moment of time is God prior to the Son, 
[but] there is ever a God, ever a Son, the Son from God himself" (4) And as 
your brother in Caesarea, Eusebius, and Theodotus, Paulinas, Athanasius, 
Gregory, Aetius and all the bishops in the east say that God is prior to the Son 
without beginning, they have become anathema — except for the ignorant 
sectarians Philogonius, Hellanicus and Macarius, some of whom say that 
the Son is an eructation and others, an uncreated emanation. (5) And to 
these impieties we cannot even listen, not if the sectarians threaten us with 
a thousand deaths. 

6,6 But what is it that we say and believe, and that we have taught and 
teach ? That the Son is not uncreated or in any respect part of an uncre- 
ated being, or made of anything previously existent. He was brought into 
being by the will and counsel [of God], before all times and before all ages, 
as unbegotten God in the fullest sense, and unalterable; and before he was 
begotten, created, determined or established, he did not exist. (7) But we are 
persecuted because we have said, “The Son has a beginning but God is with- 
out beginning.” We are also persecuted because we have said, “He is made 
from nothing.” But we have so said in the sense that he is not a part of God 
or made from any thing previously existent. It is for this reason that we are 
persecuted; the rest you know. 

I pray for your good health in the Lord, my true fellow Lucianist Eusebius; 
be mindful of my afflictions. 

7,1 Moreover, I subjoin another letter written in supposed self-defense 
from Nicomedia by Arius to the most holy Pope Athanasius and sent by 
him to Alexandria. Once again it is filled, to an incomparably worse degree, 
with the blasphemous expressions of his venom. This is the letter: 6 

6 Cf. Ath. Syn. 16. 



7.2 Greetings in the Lord from the presbyters and deacons to our blessed 
Pope and bishop, Alexander. 

7.3 Our faith which we have received from our forefathers and learned 
from you as well, blessed Pope, is as follows. We know that one God, the only 
ingenerate, the only eternal, who alone is without beginning, only is the true 
God, alone has immortality, alone is wise, alone good, alone sovereign, alone 
judge with the governance and care of all, immutable and unalterable, just 
and good, < the Lord *> of the Law and Prophets and of the New Testament — 
that this God has begotten an only Son before eternal times, ( 4 ) and through 
him has made the ages and the rest. He has begotten him not in appear- 
ance but in truth and brought him into being, immutable and unalterable, 
by his own will; ( 5 ) God’s perfect creature but not like any other creature; 
an offspring but not like any other offspring; ( 6 ) and not an emanation, as 
Valentinus believed the Father’s offspring to be; nor as Mani represented the 
offspring as a co-essential part of the Father; nor like Sabellius, who, dividing 
the Unity, said “Son-Father”; nor as Hieracas called him a light kindled from 
a light, or a lamp become two; ( 7 ) nor priorly existent and later generated or 
created anew as a Son. You yourself blessed Pope, have very often publicly 
denounced those who give these explanations in the church and assembly. 
But as we say, He is a Son created by the will of God before the times and 
ages, who has received his life, being and glory from the Father, the Father 
subsisting together with him. For by giving him the inheritance of all things 
the Father did not deprive himself of his possession of ingeneracy in himself, 
for he is the source of all. 

8,1 Thus there are three entities, a Father, a Son and a Holy Spirit. And 
God, who is the cause of all, is the sole and only being without beginning. But 
the Son, who was begotten of the Father though not in time, and who was 
created and established before the ages, did not exist before his begetting 
but was alone brought into being before all things by the Father alone, not 
in time. ( 2 ) Nor is he eternal, or co-eternal and co-uncreated with the Father. 
Nor does he have a being simultaneous with the Father’s, as some speak of 
things [which are naturally] related to something else, thus introducing two 
uncreateds. But God is before all as a Unit and the first principle of all things. 
And thus he is also before Christ, as we have learned fromyou whenyou have 
preached publicly < in > the church. 

8.3 Thus, in that the Son has his being from God < who > has provided 
him with life, glory and all things, God is his first cause. For God is his ruler, 
as his God and prior to him in existence, because the Son originates from 



him. (4) And if “out of the belly ,' 1 and “I came forth from the Father and am 
come, ” 7 8 are taken by some to mean that he is part of a co-essential God and 
an emanation, the Father must be composite, divisible and mutable — and 
in their opinion the incorporeal God has a body and, given their premises, 
is subject to the consequences of corporeality. We pray for your good health 
in the Lord, blessed Pope. (5) Arius, Aeithales, Achillas, Carpones, Sarma- 
tas, Arius, presbyters; the deacons Euzoeus, Lucius, Julius, Menas, Helladius, 
Gains; the bishops Secundus of Pentapolis, Theonas of Libya, Pistus — the 
bishop the Arians consecrated for Alexandria. 

g,r Now that matters had been stirred up in this way, Alexander wrote 
to the emperor Constantine. And the blessed emperor summoned Arius 
and certain bishops, and interrogated them. (2) But < with the support > 
of his co-religionists Arius at first denied the charge before the emperor, 
while inwardly hatching the plot against the church. And after summoning 
him the blessed Constantine, as though to some degree inspired < by > the 
Holy Spirit, addressed him saying, “I trust in God that if you are holding 
something back and denying it, the Lord of all has the power to confound 
you speedily, especially since it is by him that you have sworn.” Hence 
Arius was indeed caught holding the same opinions, and was exposed 
before the emperor. 

g,3 But he made a similar denial again, and many of his defenders peti- 
tioned the emperor for him through Eusebius of Nicomedia. But mean- 
while the emperor was moved with zeal, and wrote a long circular against 
Arius and his creed to the whole Roman realm, filled with all sorts of wis- 
dom and truthful sayings. (4) It is still preserved among the scholarly and 
begins, “The most high Augustus Constantine, to Arius and the Arians. A 
bad expositor is in very truth the image and representation of the devil.” 9 
(5) Then, after some other remarks and after giving a long refutation of 
Arius from the sacred scripture, he also indignantly directed a line from 
Homer against him and quoted it, and I feel that I must quote it here as 
well. (6) It goes, “Come now, Ares Arius, there is a need for shields. Do this 
not, we pray; let Aphrodite’s speech restrain thee.” 10 

7 Ps 109:3. 

8 John 16:28. 

9 The entire letter, which may not actually be Constantine’s, is found at Ath. Nic. 40. 

10 Ath. Syn. 40.6. The Homeric line is apparently a misquotation of Iliad 5.31. 



10, i 11 Arius wished to be received back into the church in Constanti- 
nople, and Eusebius pressed for this and had great influence with the 
emperor, and kept pestering the bishop of Constantinople at that time. 
The bishop did not wish to be in the same fellowship with Arius or enter 
into communion with him, and was troubled and groaned, but Eusebius 
said, “If you won’t do it by your own choice he’ll come in with me tomor- 
row at the dawn of the Lord’s Day, and what can you do about it?” 

10,2 That most pious and godfearing bishop, Alexander, bishop of the 
best of cities — (he and the bishop in Alexandria had the same name) — 
spent the whole day after he heard that, and the night, in groans and 
mourning, praying and beseeching God either to take his life so that he 
would not be polluted by communion with Arius, or to work some won- 
der. And his prayer was answered. (3) Arius went out that night from the 
need to relieve himself, went to the privy, sat down in the stalls inside, 
and suddenly burst and expired. Thus, he was overtaken and surr